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It’s the story no golf fan wanted to read – far less write – but Tiger Woods has withdrawn from the Genesis Invitational. 

The 15-time major champion, making his first start of the season and only his third since he withdrew from The Masters last April, managed only six holes of his second round at Riviera Country Club before climbing in a buggy and being driven off the course.

A post from the PGA Tour on X (formerly Twitter) reported that illness was the cause of the early exit, although reports from various people on the ground suggested he had been struggling physically for most of the 100 minutes or so of play he managed on Friday.

In a worrying twist, first-responders reportedly arrived at the doors of the Riviera clubhouse shortly after Woods’ withdrawal but left around an hour later without the former world No.1.

Nonetheless, this is a further setback for the embattled Woods as he looks to extend his career at the top level as long as possible.

He has now has made six official starts since his 2021 car crash, completing 72 holes twice, with one missed cut and three withdrawals.

This week’s Genesis Invitational marked his first official PGA Tour start since his WD from The Masters ten months ago. He subsequently ankle surgery, prompting an extended spell on the sidelines.

He returned to competition at the Hero World Challenge in December, finishing 18th in the 20-player field, before teamed-up with son Charlie at the PNC Championship a fortnight later.

During the Hero World Challenge, Woods expressed his hope of being able to play one event per month this year.

Assuming he is fit and able, it is widely expected that his next start could come in the Arnold Palmer Invitational, taking place at Bay Hill in Florida from March 7-10. Woods is an eight-time winner of that particular event but hasn’t featured there since the 2016/17 PGA Tour season.

His withdrawal from the Genesis continues his bad luck in the tournament where he made his first PGA Tour start back in 1992. It remains one of the few events he has never won.

author headshot

Michael McEwan is the Deputy Editor of bunkered and has been part of the team since 2004. In that time, he has interviewed almost every major figure within the sport, from Jack Nicklaus, to Rory McIlroy, to Donald Trump. The host of the multi award-winning bunkered Podcast and a member of Balfron Golfing Society, Michael is the author of three books and is the 2023 PPA Scotland 'Writer of the Year' and 'Columnist of the Year'. Dislikes white belts, yellow balls and iron headcovers. Likes being drawn out of the media ballot to play Augusta National.

Deputy Editor

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