Like springtime pollen and three-putt greens, back issues are a part of golf.
When they involve Tiger Woods and Arnold Palmer, they’re news events.
There are reports that Woods is dealing with a bulging disc, which is the cause of the back spasms that led him to withdraw Tuesday from the Arnold Palmer Invitational. It’s been a hot topic of conversation on the practice tee and other places this week at Bay Hill.
The Woods camp doesn’t deal in specifics on such matters, preferring to stand by the comments Tiger made on his website earlier this week where he said he is continuing to deal with the spasms that have disrupted his early-season schedule and it’s too early to know if he’ll be ready for The Masters.
Woods called Palmer personally to apologize for his late withdrawal from the tournament he’s won eight times and, one day later, Palmer revealed he’s planning to have back surgery after The Masters.
Arnie said he’s had back issues throughout his career but added: “We called it a hip problem.”
Arnie’s back has been twisted like a pretzel with that famous follow-through so many times that, at 84, he needs some minor repair.
“I’m about a month away from having an operation on my back to help me enjoy the game a little bit more,” Palmer said.
With Woods now 38 and confronted by a growing list of physical issues, Palmer was asked how it will impact Tiger’s quest to take down Jack Nicklaus’ record of 18 major championship victories.
“I think it lessens the possibility of that happening,” he said.
At the moment, the question isn’t whether Tiger will catch Jack.
It’s when will we see a fully healthy Tiger again.