Pat Perez doesn’t think Tiger Woods will play again this season after injuring his back last month in Dubai.
During an interview earlier this week on SiriusXM PGA Tour Radio, Perez, who has competed against Woods since junior golf, praised the former world No. 1 as “the needle” in golf but said that right now, “he knows he can’t beat anybody.”
“He knows it,” Perez said. “The guy shot 77 [in the first round in Dubai]. That guy can’t shoot 77. What does he do the next day? Ah, my back’s gone. He knows he can’t beat anybody! I told you!
“He’s not going to come out and play, and play poorly. I said this how many months ago? He’s not going to do it for a long time.”
Woods launched his new corporation, TGR, and signed equipment deals with TaylorMade and Bridgestone in anticipation of a busy early-season schedule, with four events in a five-week span. “He’s gotta keep that stuff relevant,” Perez said.
Woods lasted only three rounds. He withdrew from Dubai because of back spasms, and his condition hasn’t improved to the point that he’s able to compete in tournaments. Last week, at the Genesis Open, which now benefits his foundation, Woods didn’t attend a pre-tournament news conference or the trophy presentation.
Woods has not laid out a plan for the rest of the spring, nor has he announced whether he will be healthy enough to play the Masters. When reached by GolfChannel.com, Woods' manager Mark Steinberg declined comment.
“If he doesn’t play Augusta, then it’s over,” Perez said. “I can tell you that right now: If he doesn’t play Augusta, it’s over.
“I said when he pulled out – I said he was going to pull out in one of these events and you’re not going to see him play five events. There’s no way. I called it early. Nobody believed me.
“Personally, I don’t think you’ll see him again this year. I think he’s out. The only thing he’s going to care about is Augusta. … It’s not like he’s got his favorite major courses after Augusta. I’m telling you, I don’t think you’re going to see this guy again. The guy can’t show up to an interview. You think he thinks he can beat somebody? The guy can’t stand during an interview.”