Tiger Woods pulls out of Safeway Open over 'vulnerable' game concerns

Tiger Woods and Notah Begay III during the Ryder Cup
Woods (left) was a vice-captain for the US team who regained the Ryder Cup earlier this month.

Former world number one Tiger Woods has delayed his comeback again, claiming his game is "vulnerable".

The 14-time major champion has been out for more than a year with back problems but was due to compete at this week's Safeway Open in California.

The 40-year-old American is now planning a return in early December.

"My health is good and I feel strong, but my game is vulnerable and not where it needs to be," he said. "I'm close and I won't stop until I get there."

Woods last competed in August 2015, since when he has twice had back surgery.

Now ranked 786, he said he had made his decision to abort his latest comeback after "a lot of soul-searching and honest reflection".

A vice-captain for the United States team that won the Ryder Cup earlier this month, Woods missed the whole of the 2015-16 season through injury and played in just 11 tournaments the previous season.


BBC golf correspondent Iain Carter

It is one thing to be hitting the ball well on a range and quite another to turn that into effective scoring on the most competitive tours in the world.

Decent ball striking comes from fitness and technique, but a scorecard also reflects touch and feel. Woods believes he is not ready to play at the required standard for the PGA and European Tours.

It is, undoubtedly, a big setback for the 14-time major champion but the fact it is form rather than fitness holding him back provides a degree of consolation.

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