AUSTIN, Texas – A month break to let his back heal has turned into much longer for Nick Watney, who says he is done for the rest of the season.
Watney, whose six PGA Tour victories include a World Golf Championship and a FedEx Cup playoff event, has a herniated disc in his lower back. He thought the best-case scenario would be to return toward the end of the Florida swing, except that it's not getting better.
''I just don't want it to turn into a chronic thing and have it every few years,'' Watney said over the weekend from his home in Austin.
''I'm rehabbing. But I don't want to have surgery, and that's part of the reason I'm going to take the year off. I just want to rehab and get everything sorted out.
''I've never had to sit out this long, and so it stinks.''
Watney has tried to stay busy at home. He has two children, 2 and 8 months, which occupies most of the time. Still, a small measure of boredom is creeping in.
''I'm changing a lot of diapers,'' he said. ''I'm loving the basketball on all day. But it's hard, because I like to do something active, but I don't want to be too active. And I don't want to get into the markets, because I'm not very good at it.''
In the meantime, being out for two months already has made him lonely for PGA Tour life. He hopes to get out to the Dell Match Play for at least one day just to see some friends that he has missed, such as Bill Haas.
''I might come out Wednesday and see how it goes,'' he said. ''I want to see some people, but I don't want to bug them.''
Watney last played in the Farmers Insurance Open the last week in January. He has not had a top 10 since the AT&T Byron Nelson in May.