Unclear on status, Tiger Woods says back 'progressing' as he hits shot in water

Tiger Woods was at Big Cedar Lodge in Missouri on Tuesday to discuss his first public course which will be built at Big Cedar Lodge. In between talking bunkers and tee boxes, Woods was challenged to a closest-to-the-pin competition by a kid in the audience.

Woods took him up on the offer ... and promptly rinsed his first shot. 

He then stuck one close and answered a few questions about his future. 

"The back is progressing," Woods told reporters on Tuesday without committing to a return date. "The first shot was crap. I hit it in the water. My second shot I stiffed it. What Mark [O'Meara] was saying at Augusta ... I have good days and bad days. I've had three back operations, and that's the nature of the business unfortunately. That's all I can say."

What Woods is referencing is something his old pal O'Meara noted after the Champions Dinner at the Masters a few weeks ago

"He's day-to-day," O'Meara told Golf Channel. "'Some days I have good days; some days I have bad days.' [The pain] is pretty much in the same area in his lower back that he's had the surgeries on. But he's such a competitor that he can't come out and play half of what he did. The timetable for his return, I didn't ask him, but you can tell that it's kind of you just have to wait and see."

The same it's been for a few years now. Wait and see. It's such a bummer that Woods' career is winding down like this. Nobody knows when (or if) he'll be healthy enough to compete again (probably including Woods). But at least we know he can swing a wedge for now (albeit not that well on the first one). 

This was supposed to be a banner year of sorts for Big Cat. He took off all of 2016 following surgery at the end of 2015. He was to re-enter the golf world confidently and with a purposeful future. Instead all we have are a handful of questions and no answers. That's not Tiger's fault, but I hate that it's all going down like this. I'm sure he does, too.

CBS Sports Writer

Kyle Porter began his sports writing career with CBS Sports in 2012. He covers golf, writes poetry about Rory McIlroy's swing, stays ready on Tiger watch and loves the Masters more than anyone you know.... Full Bio

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