Tiger Woods will not play in next week's U.S. Open at Pennsylvania's Oakmont Country Club, marking the third time in the past six years he will miss the major championship that he has won three times.
In perhaps a mild surprise, Woods also announced Tuesday that he will not play in the Quicken Loans National at Congressional Country Club the following week. That tournament benefits the Tiger Woods Foundation and was one that seemed a sensible fit for his long-awaited comeback.
"While I continue to work hard on getting healthy, I'm not physically ready to play in this year's U.S. Open and the Quicken Loans National," Woods said in a statement. "I am making progress, but I'm not yet ready for tournament competition."
Thitiphu Chuayprakong, a 23-year-old from Thailand, is now in the U.S. Open field, as he was the first alternate from the Japan sectional qualifier and the USGA determined that he was first on its alternate list for Oakmont. Thitiphu has never played in a major.
Woods, 40, is recovering from two back surgeries performed last fall, the second apparently more serious than the first. It has been more than seven months since the last surgery on Oct. 28; he last competed in August at the Wyndham Championship, where the 14-time major winner tied for 10th.
"There have not been any setbacks," Woods' agent Mark Steinberg told ESPN.com. "But the process involves having to play two, three, four days and you have to stretch that out. He's just not ready to put together the days consecutively that are necessary to compete at a high level. And some of it is a matter of feeling good as well as getting the game together.''
Steinberg said they announced the U.S. Open now so as not to hold up the alternate process for the tournament. And since he knew it was too soon to compete at Quicken Loans "because it's [Tiger's] tournament; we would have to put something out and we felt it wouldn't be right'' to do that next week.
"The problem is there are so many big events the way the schedule is set up, and do we announce for every one? As he said, he's doing well, he's just not ready to compete.''
There have been various Woods sightings in recent weeks, including at clinics in South Carolina and Las Vegas and also at the opening of a golf course he designed near Houston. Woods hit balls for a small audience and played five holes at Bluejack National on April 25 and said afterward he was surprised to feel as good as he did.
All along, there were thoughts that Woods might play the Players Championship or perhaps last week's Memorial Tournament. The U.S. Open at Oakmont, one of the hardest courses in the country, always seemed a reach.
But the Quicken Loans event, where he made his return from 2014 back surgery and missed the cut, seemed reasonable.
As for the chances that Woods will compete during the current PGA Tour season, which ends in August, Steinberg said "we haven't looked past Quicken Loans,'' where Woods will be on site as tournament host.
The Open at Royal Troon next month and the PGA Championship at Baltusrol at the end of July are possibilities but seem unlikely if he doesn't get some tournament preparation.
Woods, who has 79 PGA Tour titles, will now have missed eight majors for injuries.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.