Planet Golf — 02 March 2014 by GW staff and news services
Woods ‘backs out’ of Honda Classic

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fl — Tiger Woods withdrew from the final round of The Honda Classic after 13 holes on Sunday, citing back spasms.

He was 5 over on the day and even par for the tournament when he pulled out.

“It’s my lower back with spasms,” Woods said in a statement. “It started this morning warming up.”

Woods’ status for next week’s World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship, where he is the defending champion, is unknown.

“It’s too early to tell,” he said. “I need treatment every day until Thursday to try to calm it down. We’ll see how it is.

“It’s the same feeling I had as Barclays.”

Woods was able to finish that tournament last fall, eventually tying for finishing second. He was 12 shots off the lead when he withdrew at PGA National.

A day after shooting 65 for his lowest round on TOUR in 18 months, Woods left the course having still not finished a Sunday on TOUR this year. He tied for 80th after missing the secondary cut at the Farmers Insurance Open in his only other start.

It also marked the second consecutive year the No. 1 player in the world didn’t finish The Honda Classic. A year ago, Rory McIlroy walked off the course in the middle of the second round.

Woods struggled from the start on Sunday, making bogey on the second hole before making a mess of the reachable par-5 third, where he hit into a hazard and eventually made double.

He made three more bogeys over his next six holes to go out in 40. Woods then parred his next four holes before pulling out.

“I kind of noticed that he wasn’t feeling the greatest,” playing partner Luke Guthrie said. “I noticed he was starting to kind of gingery tee up the ball and pick up the ball out of the hole and stuff.

“He made a couple uncharacteristic shots; the drive on 3 kind of was the first one. I didn’t know if he wasn’t feeling the greatest — it kind of seemed like he might have been protecting, came up and out of it. If you’re hurting, you’re hurting.”

It’s the seventh time in Woods’ career and fourth time in the last five years that he has withdrawn from a tournament, the last coming in the final round of the 2012 WGC-Cadillac Championship when he pulled out after 12 holes because of an Achilles injury.


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