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Jason Day says Tiger Woods won't be back until 2017

October 19, 2016

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It's beginning to look more and more that when Tiger Woods said last month, "I hope to play," in several 2016 tournaments, that's all it was. Hope. A month after, Woods officially committed to the Safeway Open, the opening event of the 2016-2017 PGA Tour season, but withdrew from the event just three days later, citing a "vulnerable" golf game that wasn't ready for competing against the world's best. And now, according to the current World No. 1, Jason Day, golf fans shouldn't plan on seeing the former World No. 1 until 2017.

"I never really had any faith in him coming back this year," Day told Robert Grant of Golf Australia. "The state of his game, I'm not sure. His back is so sore. I think we'll see him sometime next year, but I'm not sure when."

Day and Woods frequently exchange texts. Day also said he's visited Woods at his home in Jupiter, Fla. The Aussie did get the feeling Woods is eager to get back to competition.

"I think he misses being out here, which is understandable because the competition is so addicting," said Day, who like Woods, is currently sitting out with a back injury.

"He saw Phil Mickelson playing well at the (British) Open Championship, and that got him going. But he knows he can't push it."

Woods was reported to be paired with Mickelson in the first two rounds of the Safeway Open before he pulled out. The following day, Woods was seen hitting balls at a clinic at Pebble Beach, but he was clearly not swinging at full speed.

The day after the tournament in Napa ended, Woods announced the launch of his new corporate brand, TGR: Tiger Woods Ventures. Woods' use of the phrase "Chapter 2" on his website didn't do much to convince anyone he was close to coming back to golf, either.

Day's comments certainly aren't earth-shattering. After Woods also pulled out of next month's Turkish Airlines Open, the only other event for a possible return in 2016 seemed to be his Hero World Challenge in December. But now, even that seems like a long shot.