Posted March 20, 2014

Tiger Withdraws From Bay Hill Due to Back Spasms, Says Too Soon To Know About Masters

News, Tiger
Tiger Woods grimaces after teeing off on the 12th hole during the final round of the Cadillac Championship. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

Tiger Woods grimaces after teeing off during the final round of the Cadillac Championship. (AP/Lynne Sladky)

Two-time defending champion Tiger Woods withdrew from the Arnold Palmer Invitational on Tuesday due to his lingering back injuries and he said it was too soon to know if he would be healthy enough to play in the Masters, according to a statement on his website, TigerWoods.com.

I personally called Arnold today to tell him that, sadly, I won’t be able to play in his tournament this year. I would like to express my regrets to the Orlando fans, the volunteers, the tournament staff and the sponsors for having to miss the event. Unfortunately, my back spasms and the pain haven’t subsided. It’s too early to know about the Masters, and I will continue to be evaluated and work closely with my doctors. I feel badly that I won’t be able to play in this great tournament this week.

Arnold Palmer told the Associated Press that he was disappointed that Woods will not be able to play in the tournament. This will be the second time Woods has missed Palmer’s event since turning pro; the first time Woods missed Bay Hill was in 2010, when he sat out for four months following his personal scandals. In 16 appearances at Bay Hill, Tiger has won eight times, including four consecutive wins from 2000-2003.

“I am certainly sorry that Tiger is not able to play,” Palmer said. “Quite obviously, we will miss having him here this week. He called me to tell me that his back was still giving him a lot of trouble and he didn’t feel he should play. I told him I understood and wished him well.”

Woods’ back has been an issue during the entire 2014 season. On March 2, he withdrew from the Honda Classic during the final round after 12 holes when he was 5-over-par for the round. The same injury visibly affected Woods the following week as he grimaced his way through four rounds at Doral on his way to a 25th-place finish.

Woods first announced the news via his Twitter feed.

Swing coach Sean Foley told the Associated Press that he would not read too much into how Woods can prepare for the Masters if he can play. The Masters, which Woods has won four times, begins April 10.

“I’ve been coaching on Tour long enough now to know that Tuesday doesn’t affect Wednesday. There’s no rhyme or reason to performance,” Foley said in a telephone interview. “Tiger is always about the majors, and he’s solely about the majors now. He’s got to do the right thing. He’s just doing the right due diligence about it.”

But one man’s back pain is another’s entry into a prestigious tournament. PGA Tour rookie Brice Garnett earned a spot in the field at Bay Hill with Woods’ withdrawal.


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104 comments
LetaJRhoads
LetaJRhoads

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sport711
sport711

"where be my PED's ?" !  

RobN
RobN

Foley's comment that tuesday doesn't affect wednesday is patently ridiculous, and frankly sounds a little desperate.  Prep time counts.  Always has, always will. 

The Computer Store Owner
The Computer Store Owner

I don't think his back is that bad.  Tiger always does best for Tiger.  I bet he and Foley got together and decided what schedule (or lack thereof) would give Tiger the best shot at winning the Masters and then made his decisions from there.  What about his good friend Arnie?  And loyalty?  I don't think that matters much to Tiger.  Ask Butch, ask Stevie, ask Elin.

INVISABLE
INVISABLE

I've suffered through chronic back/spasm issues for more than 20 years, and you never heal up, ever. If they can't correct the problem then he's limited too even fewer events a year. If that. 

OK
OK

There's nothing wrong with Tigger's back.

The Computer Store Owner
The Computer Store Owner

Will Tiger play in the Masters?  You've gotta be kidding!  He had a super-model wife that in 2009 begged him to miss the masters to work on their damaged marriage.  Tiger gave up that request which ended up costing him his marriage--just so he could play in the Masters.  Jack's record is more important than anything else in the world to him.  If his back felt exactly the same April 10, as he feels today, he will be at the Masters.  No doubt.

Blinker
Blinker

Back spasms????  Vonn must be really taking it to him.

tommyrogo
tommyrogo

Will Tiger play before the Masters?  There are only 2 tournaments left and both are in Texas.  He doesn't and will not play the week before so that leaves the Valero Texas Open next week.  He needs reps in competition, but will he risk hurting his back further?  Stay Tuned.

rheffero
rheffero

For the golf purists out there, yes, there are casual fans, but these casual fans drive ratings and interest. No network is excited about getting 1.3 ratings from the "purists. Without these casual Tiger fans, golf was slipping into non relevancy.


That being said, Tiger may need to go the way of Jim Brown and Barry Sanders. Watching him perform now, where physically he can only put together 27 good holes a tournament is just too tough to watch. 4 knee surgeries alone.


Tiger haters at the Masters; come again, how many top 5's has the guy had in that span (7 in last 9 years) you may not understand ratings, but if Tiger is not in contention has a major ratings impact (his impact is just about double).


I love the Masters, because for me, that means Spring is here and I love the course, but I do not understand how watching one trick ponies like Watson, Schwartzel, Cabrera (2 tricks-he has missed 20 cuts just in the majors but owns the "Argentine tour), Immelman vs watching the golfer of this generation is somehow bad.

thebigdawg57
thebigdawg57

Finished … and thank God he is … Tiger is the biggest jerk (off) on the planet … funny how a lot of athletes start to break-down when they can no longer juice up ...

AH
AH

Short game is gone..back is spaz-mastic...motivation was purchased by Nike years ago and aired on TV for all to see for a decade. 


This is the end & his body is effectively 65 years of age. 

It was fun to watch wen it was burning bright but sad to see it only flicker in 2014... 

gunter
gunter

If he doesn't play at The Masters, I and many others won't care to watch. The possibility is probably CBS's worst nightmare - much worse than the feminist protest some years ago.




kieblera5
kieblera5

I had back spasms due to injury. They lasted six months; it's not an injury to mess around with.

Happygolfer
Happygolfer

Here's wishing that your back heals real fast champ. And that you return fully fit.  Smart move Tiger!

Steve Larson1
Steve Larson1

This year does not look good for Tiger. Between poor play when he is feeling good and increasing issues with his back, it looks like 2014 will be another majorless year. I think when the dust clears, we will see that Tiger's back problems are worse than he has let on. I'm not cheering this, I'm just saying that Tiger historically has tended to underplay his physical problems. 

Roger Garcia
Roger Garcia

he is and idiot he cheat and golf.now i can watch golf all weekend go phil..

Jamester
Jamester

Until 2009, i was a huge Tiger fan. I am no longer a fan but i love to watch him play. He will win a lot more tournaments but never a major. KARMA.

ShutFaceGolf
ShutFaceGolf

Lets just get serious for a second, he's going to play the Masters. Period. I feel bad for Arnie. His invite lost some luster today. http://wp.me/p32cTD-mp

mystafugee
mystafugee

Tiger hater: Tiger needs to step aside and quit hogging the attention from other more deserving golfers.

Rationale person: Fair point, what golfers in particular are you talking about?

Tiger hater: (scratches head) hmmmmm......Tiger is a scumbag who cheated on his wife and took steroids!!!

macer
macer

@sport711

sport711,

Your admission to use of PED's leads me to ask the following question: has use of PED's helped your golf game, if you play?

tommyrogo
tommyrogo

@The Computer Store Owner  What about Phil?  He just decided he doesn't play well there and just skips it?  What would you write about if no Tiger?  Nothing.

Stephen35
Stephen35

@The Computer Store Owner "I told him I understood and wished him well.” Arnold Palmer. This is the difference between Arnie and CSO. Arnie just says "I get it". The other looks for Machiavellian intrigue while making mountain ranges out of dust mites and is stuck in a 2009 time warp. Grace vs. Goofy.  

OK
OK

@Blinker  

Not like those waitresses and attendants...

tommyrogo
tommyrogo

@rheffero  I don't have a clue what your point is.  Barry Sanders just plain quit, rather than play for the Detroit Lions, a team that has won ONE playoff game since 1957.

The Masters will always be the Masters, no matter who is or is not playing in any given year.

JimKirkwood1
JimKirkwood1

@rheffero Jim Brown is one the few that retired when he was at his best. Tiger is mo longer at his best

tommyrogo
tommyrogo

@gunter  The Masters will always be the Masters, no matter who is or is not playing in any given year.

the_clay_bird
the_clay_bird

@gunter you kidding me? Tiger has basically been absent at the masters for 8 years now, and Masters Sunday ratings are always high

AH
AH

@gunter  


Many good players out there ready to step up but more importantly the Masters preceded Tiger and will continue to be here when he is gone.

Golfasorous
Golfasorous

@gunter   CBS's worst nightmare? There will be enough talented golfers competing to get the attention of "real" golf fans if TW decides to skip Augusta National.

tommyrogo
tommyrogo

Phil is not playing Mr. golf fan.

carjax1202
carjax1202

Wow Roger....nice grammar and spelling.  Who's the idiot?

thebigdawg57
thebigdawg57

Actually he was doing steroids is what I heard … and that is cheating ...

macer
macer

Tiger is the second greatest player in the history of golf and is astute for sitting out this week to enable his back to heal enough to play the Masters.  Tiger did not cheat his way to 14 major and 79 tour wins.

the_clay_bird
the_clay_bird

@mystafugee The man that got into the tournament thanks to Tiger's WD has made 9/10 cuts ontour this year.  Those are the deserving golfers.  Instead of Tiger playing thursday, shooting 76 because he is obviously hurting and WD'ing then is certainly a worse scenario.  Tiger did the right thing here by taking the week off to get better, and in turn it gives a talented rookie a chance to play at Arnie's event.  Win/Win


unless you're just a Tiger-lover and not a real golf fan in which case, you haven't had much to cheer about in the last 8 months

GregoryBrose
GregoryBrose

@mystafugee Come on, man. We as a society are about forgiveness. Personally, I feel Mr. Woods has been in the penalty box long enough. If your back is hurting, you do not even want to walk to s$%t. Give the guy a break.

Steve Larson1
Steve Larson1

@mystafugee  So these "Tiger haters" you have running around in your mind. . .Do you see aliens also?

sport711
sport711

@macer @sport711 yes I golf....I do not take PED's....but Tiger has....and now his body is breaking down because he is no longer on PED's....which will affect his golf game...

OK
OK

@tommyrogo @The Computer Store Owner  

Phil, for his many Back Nine Choke Jobs in Majors, lacks Tigger's pedigrees of off-course lies and on-course cheating. As such, Phil's decisions carry a certain credibility. Tigger, meanwhile, cannot be trusted.

And that's Tigger's own fault - aided and abetted, of course, by his hacks (Gray, Roberts, Jenkins, Notah, Shackleford) in the golf public relations world.

jabobjon
jabobjon

@Stephen35 @The Computer Store Owner CSO : grace

                                                                           stephenscoobydoo35: goofy, hump...hump

OK
OK

@tommyrogo

Tigger's back is just a lame excuse that cannot be proven, but that will be carried by his loyal sycophants in public relations/golf writing and his obedient fans.

bobdevo
bobdevo

@JimKirkwood1 @rhefferoExactly.  Brown still had some good seasons left in him; he walked away at the top.  Tiger is heading for broken-down has-been status.

jabobjon
jabobjon

 @gunter his back's will heal miraculously for the masters. oh crap ! the masters are in trouble now that you won't care to watch, they might as well cancel it because it will be a nightmare.

CaptainPig
CaptainPig

@macer  Hi Macer - no he didn’t, I agree - but I really didn’t like the way he tried to intimidate Pat Reed last week. There’s no need and these youngsters now could care less.

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