Tiger Woods feels 'strong' but admits his game still 'vulnerable' after pulling out of Safeway Open

The 40-year-old confirmed he would not be playing in California this week

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The Independent Online

Tiger Woods feels his game is still "vulnerable" after he pulled out of his planned comeback at this week's Safeway Open.

The 40-year-old confirmed he would not be playing in California this week or in the Turkish Airlines Open on the European Tour in November as he continues his recovery a back issue.

"My health is good, and I feel strong, but my game is vulnerable and not where it needs to be," Woods said on his website.

"After a lot of soul searching and honest reflection, I know that I am not yet ready to play on the PGA Tour or compete in Turkey."

The 14-time major winner said last month he intended to play the Safeway Open, the Turkish Airlines Open and the Hero World Challenge - which is hosted by his own foundation - in the Bahamas, but has now said his game is not ready.

Woods, who has had three operations on his back in the space of 19 months, said: "When I announced last week I was going to Safeway, I had every intention of playing, or I wouldn't have committed.

"I spent a week with the US Ryder Cup Team, an honour and experience that inspired me even more to play.

"I practised the last several days in California, but after a lot of hours, I knew I wasn't ready to compete against the best golfers in the world. I will continue to work hard, and plan to play at my foundation's event, the Hero World Challenge, in Albany.

"I would like to apologise and send my regrets to Safeway, the Turkish Airlines Open, the fans in California and Turkey and those that had hoped to watch me compete on TV. This isn't what I wanted to happen, but I will continue to strive to be able to play tournament golf. I'm close, and I won't stop until I get there."

PA.

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