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We’ve finally made it to the second major championship of the year, and we should be in store for an exciting week at Oak Hill Country Club for the 2023 PGA Championship. Scottie Scheffler and Jon Rahm are on a tier of their own atop the odds board, Rory McIlroy will have a great chance to secure his first major in nine years, and LIV Golf contenders Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson, and Cameron Smith have their sights set on stealing the Wanamaker Trophy away from the PGA Tour.

The storylines are endless, but we will be missing a crucial one at Oak Hill this year.

Tiger Woods, who made the cut at the 2023 Masters before withdrawing on the weekend, unfortunately won’t be in the field this week. So, why isn’t Tiger teeing it up at the 2023 PGA Championship?

Why isn’t Tiger Woods playing in the PGA Championship?

Tiger Woods tees off during the second round of the 2023 Masters.
Tiger Woods plays his tee shot on the fourth hole during the second round of the 2023 Masters at Augusta National Golf Club | David Cannon/Getty Images

At this point in Tiger Woods‘ career, he’s focused on playing as many majors as possible while he still has the ability to compete with the best golfers in the world. The 15-time major champion has trouble walking 18 holes for four straight days due to the leg injuries he suffered in a single-car accident in February 2021, so he can’t afford to put extra wear and tear on his body at non-majors.

Woods was able to play in three of the four majors in 2022. He made the cut at the Masters to finish in 47th, made the cut at the PGA Championship before withdrawing ahead of the final round, and missed the cut at the Open Championship. After taking a few months off, he returned in February to make the cut at the Genesis Invitational and finish T45. Tiger made the cut again at the Masters but withdrew in the middle of the third round due to pain in his right leg.

It was clear at Augusta National that Woods couldn’t continue playing that way. He was limping in between nearly every shot, and the cold, rainy weather on Friday made it impossible for him to walk 18 holes.

So, a few weeks after the Masters, Woods underwent a subtalar fusion procedure on his right ankle to “address his post-traumatic arthritis from his previous talus fracture,” he announced in a tweet. The surgery was deemed successful.

There’s no official timetable for Tiger’s return to the golf course, but he hasn’t recovered in time to tee it up at the PGA Championship this week. That doesn’t mean he won’t be back on the course before the end of the season, though.

According to foot and ankle surgeon and consultant Nima Heidari, Tiger could be back to playing pain-free golf by the end of the year. If this procedure allows Wood to walk major championship venues without a limp, it’ll be well worth skipping a few months of action.


Tiger Woods Surgery: Ankle Surgeon Says He Could Return to Playing Pain-Free Golf This Year