A massive question mark hangs over Tiger Woods’ participation in the Masters after the world No.1 withdrew from this week’s Arnold Palmer Bay Hill Invitational.
The 38-year-old pulled out of the tournament citing back spasms and added that it was ‘too early to know’ whether or not he’d be fit enough to tee it up in the first major of the season at Augusta National in three weeks’ time.
Woods’ back problems first flared up at the Honda Classic earlier this month, where he was forced to withdraw after 13 holes of his final round.
He returned to play in the WGC-Cadillac Championship at Doral the following week but was visibly in pain throughout the last round.
Now, after consulting with medics, he has decided to skip Bay Hill – casting huge doubt over his ability to play, never mind compete, in the Masters next month.
“It's too early to know about the Masters, and I will continue to be evaluated and work closely with my doctors" - Tiger Woods
“I personally called Arnold today to tell him that, sadly, I won't be able to play in his tournament this year,” said Woods, an eight-time winner of the Bay Hill Invitational. “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.”
Tiger Woods has endured a rather torrid 2014 so far. After an MDF (made cut, did not finish) in his opening event of the year, the Farmers Insurance Open, he finished tied for 41st in the Dubai Desert Classic before his Honda Classic WD. He then finished in a tie for 25th in the WGC-Cadillac Championship just under two weeks ago.
A winner of 14 majors - but none since the 2008 US Open - Woods will be desperate to tee it up in the Masters, where he has won four times and finished in the top six eight times in the last nine years.
Tiger Woods: Your thoughts
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