Tiger Woods’s ongoing treatment for how he manages pain medication will prevent him from attending this week’s Quicken Loans National, the tournament that is both staged by and benefits his foundation and is set to tee off in Potomac without him.
In a statement released through Woods’s publicist Sunday night, Rick Singer, the chief executive of Woods’s eponymous foundation, did not outline particulars of Woods’s treatment — which Woods has said is to alter the way he manages prescription drugs in the wake of a DUI arrest last month.
“As Tiger said, he is receiving ongoing professional help, and because of that, he cannot attend this year’s Quicken Loans National,” Singer said in the statement. “Tiger will stay in touch with the tournament and receive regular updates during the week.”
Woods, 41, already was unable to compete in the event — which he has won twice since he and his foundation essentially saved PGA Tour golf in Washington in 2007 — because of back surgery that has prevented him from competing since early this year. The 14-time major champion has played just twice this season, missing the cut once and withdrawing from an overseas event the following week.
But the Quicken Loans National — originally called the AT&T National — is an important event for Woods to make an appearance, even when he can’t play. He missed the tournament altogether in 2008, when he was recovering from major knee and leg surgery, but he has generally tried to show up for either the opening ceremonies or the trophy presentation — or both — in years when injuries have prevented him from playing.
Woods’s current circumstances, though, appear more urgent. He was arrested May 29 for driving under the influence south of his Jupiter, Fla., home. Officers found him asleep at the wheel with a pair of flat tires around 3 a.m., and though a breathalyzer test revealed no sign of alcohol, videos later released by the Jupiter Police Department showed a nearly incoherent Woods unable to answer simple questions.
That event led to Woods’s admission that he needed professional help to manage the drugs he had been prescribed over the years to manage pain after his multiple surgeries — both on his back and his legs. In a statement last week, Woods said he also would seek help for a sleep disorder. He is a notorious night owl, someone who needs sleep for only a few hours each evening, but it’s unclear whether that status is related to his use of prescription pain medication.
The Quicken Loans National, which opens Thursday at TPC Potomac at Avenel Farm — the Potomac course run by the PGA Tour that will host the event for the first time — thus will be without its host and largest drawing card, even in a ceremonial capacity. Rickie Fowler, Patrick Reed, and Justin Thomas headline the 120-player field .