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Finchem doubts Woods will return by June

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PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem said Wednesday that he would be surprised if Tiger Woods returned to competition sometime in the next two months.

That, of course, would force the world No. 1 out of The Players Championship, where he is the defending champion. The Players media day was held Wednesday at TPC Sawgrass.

“That injury is one that you don’t want to come back too soon for,” Finchem said on “Morning Drive”. “That’s the last thing you want to do.

“I think it’s going to be a little while for Tiger. And I’d seriously doubt we’re going to see him play golf in May or June.”

Woods underwent surgery March 30 to repair a pinched nerve in his back. He has not spoken publicly about the procedure, but in a statement he said that he hopes to return “sometime this summer.”

With Woods at home – and no back-nine drama – the final-round ratings of the Masters plummeted 24 percent

Finchem, however, chose to focus on the “silver lining.” 

“Last week at Augusta was a good indication,” he said, “of when Tiger is not in the field – because everyone wants to watch Tiger – it opens the door for exposure for other players.”

He cited runners-up Jonas Blixt and Jordan Spieth as examples. 

“The attention that they got, the focus that they got, it helped build them into stars for the future. It really grows a lot without Tiger. 

“I’d much rather have Tiger playing, don’t misunderstand me, but there is that benefit to creating stars, and creating stars is our future.”