Notah Begay says he expects Tiger Woods to return next month
For a second consecutive year, Tiger Woods withdrew from the Masters on the Friday night before the year's first major. But unlike last year, we should expect to see the 14-time major champ play again this season.
At least, that's what Notah Begay III said during a Friday appearance on The Rich Eisen Show. Woods' former college teammate and current NBC/Golf Channel analyst discussed why Woods sat out the Masters and when he thinks he'll return to competition in this clip:
"[The Masters] probably wouldn't have been the best place for Tiger to start the year out after this most recent setback, and I think we should probably look, maybe something just after the Players Championship."
Eisen then asked about Woods playing in the U.S. Open at Erin Hills.
"Oh, it's a definite possibility," Begay said. "That's probably the event that's circled on his calendar, but he's got to at least get one or two starts in before that to see where his body, where his game's at and if he can hit the shots he wants to hit."
Woods last played in the Dubai Desert Classic in February, withdrawing after a first-round 77 with back spasms. His public appearances since have revolved around him promoting his book about the 20th anniversary of his landmark Masters victory in 1997.
The Players Championship is May 11-14. The AT&T Byron Nelson, Dean & DeLuca (Colonial) and the Memorial are the next three weeks on the PGA Tour schedule.
Woods last played at the Byron Nelson in 2005 when he missed the cut, ending his record streak of cuts made at 142. He only played Colonial once (a T-4 in 1997), and he's a five-time winner of the Memorial, most recently in 2012.