, and the news has spilled over into every crevice of the golf world. Jack Nicklaus, who is normally asked about his major record, was asked for his thoughts on prescription drugs and mugshots on Tuesday at the Memorial Tournament, an event he hosts.
"Obviously I don't really know what happened, what went on," Nicklaus said. "But I feel bad for Tiger. Tiger is a friend. He's been great for the game of golf. And I think he needs all our help. And we wish him well.
"I'm a fan of Tiger's. I'm a friend of Tiger's. And I feel bad for him. So anyway, I think that he's struggling. And I wish him well. I hope he gets out of it, and I hope he plays golf again. He needs a lot of support from a lot of people, and I'll be one of them."
Those are kind but vague statements from the best to ever play the game. However, he did reveal that he tried to assist Woods in getting help on his back at the Masters before Woods underwent a fourth surgery, this time a spinal fusion on his lower back.
"He's listened. He's always done it his own way, but he listens," Nicklaus said. "I don't think he's never not heard people when they talk to him. After the Masters this year, I talked to him at the Masters dinner this year. And he said, 'I'm really hurting.' I said, 'Well Tiger,' I said, 'I know you're hurting.' I said, 'I've been trying to get you to Pete [Egoscue].' He said, 'I'm ready.' So week after the Masters, he saw Pete -- spent two hours with him."
Nicklaus went on to say that Egoscue, a physical therapy specialist, told him that Woods would not be coming back and that he had the spinal fusion surgery a few days later.
"I understand when a guy is hurting as bad as he was and probably is, that he went and did what he did," Nicklaus said. "Now ... he didn't do a fusion operation for the game of golf. He did that fusion operation to take him out of pain. And he now feels like he's out of pain, at least -- I haven't talked to him since then, but he's out of pain, supposedly, and that's what his main function was.
"Now, whether he can play golf with that, it's very difficult to play golf and do the things he does without a drastic change of his golf swing after a fusion operation. I mean, I wish him well. I hope that he does. I hope he plays. The Tour needs him. And the Tour would love to see him come back."