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Begay doesn't expect Woods to play U.S. Open

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Notah Begay III, a Golf Channel analyst and one of Tiger Woods’ closest friends, said that the world No. 1 likely will not be recovered from back surgery in time to play the June 12-15 U.S. Open. 

Woods has not spoken publicly since undergoing surgery March 30 to repair a pinched nerve in his back. In a statement, he said only that he hoped to return to the PGA Tour “sometime this summer.” 

Speaking on CBS Sports Radio on Monday, Begay, who has his own history of back issues, said, “I’ve been in contact with him this week. He missed being at Augusta and certainly was watching the tournament, (but) I think he needs to give (his back) a minimum of 90 days to make sure that scar tissue heals up appropriately and he doesn’t run the risk of re-injuring it. So that would push him past the U.S. Open.” 

If Woods is unable to compete at Pinehurst, it would mark the second time in the past four years that he missed the U.S. Open because of injury (2011).