News

Woods back problems could keep him from Masters

Woods back problems could keep him from Masters

BAD BACK: Tiger Woods is battling back spasms that threaten his season. Photo: Reuters

By Steve Keating

DORAL, Florida (Reuters) – World No. 1 Tiger Woods arrived at the WGC-Cadillac Championship with concerns over his fitness and gingerly walked off the Blue Monster Course on Sunday with new questions about his ailing back.

With the year’s first major just a month away, Woods’ Masters preparations may have to be quickly reworked as he deals with back spasms that have plagued him through his last two events.

After pulling out of the final round of the Honda Classic a week earlier, the defending champion looked ready to make another unscheduled early exit at Doral on Sunday when his back problems flared up again on the sixth following an awkward shot out of the bunker.

“It is back spasms, so we’ve done all the protocols and it’s just a matter of keeping everything aligned so I don’t go into that,” said Woods. “It’s basically started on six, the second shot out of the bunker, my foot was out of the bunker.

“That’s what set it off and then it was done after that, just see if I could actually manage through the round, keep the spasms at bay.”

Woods, a seven-time winner of the WGC-Cadillac, had surged into contention on Saturday with a third round 66 to start the final day three shots behind but returned a six-over 78 to finish tied for 25th.

The 14-times major winner did not make a birdie in his final round and walked gingerly off the course having completed his first PGA Tour event of the season.

“If I feel good, I can actually make a pretty decent swing,” said Woods. “You saw it yesterday.

“I actually can make some good swings and shoot a good score but if I’m feeling like this, it’s a little tough.

“I mean, it was just one thing that set it off and as I say, I had a quick turnaround from last week.

“Normally things like this, you shut it down for a while and then get back up and get the strength and everything developed around it.”

Woods will take next week off as scheduled and continue to undergo treatment on his back but plans to be ready for Bay Hill the following week and the defense of his Arnold Palmer Invitational title.

“I don’t know, just let me get through this day, get some treatment and we’ll assess it as time goes on,” said Woods, when asked if he would rethink his schedule.

“It will be nice to take this week off and get everything ready for Bay Hill.

Woods has battled numerous injuries throughout his career but says the back is a far more debilitating problem.

For Woods, the only good thing to come out of the WGC-Cadillac was a welcome end to testing week.

“It’s over,” said Woods.

“It’s finally done, which is good.”

(Editing by Greg Stutchbury)

Recent Headlines

11 hours ago in National

Clinton did not comply with federal email policy, watchdog finds

15-overlay-13

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server while U.S. secretary of state broke government rules and was not approved by State Department security officials, according to an internal government watchdog's report released on Wednesday.

17 hours ago in Lifestyle, National

Record number of Millennials are living with their parents

23-overlay-9

Living at home with parents is now the most common arrangement for people age 18-34.

17 hours ago in National, World

Obama to Asians worried about U.S. election: It’s going to be OK

16-overlay-8

U.S. President Barack Obama sought on Wednesday to ease growing Asian worries about the raucous election campaign to succeed him which has been dominated by the incendiary rhetoric of mogul Donald Trump, now the Republican Party's nominee.

17 hours ago in Sports

Super Bowls awarded

goodell16145779127383

The NFL has awarded the 2019 through 2021 Super Bowls to three cities that have significant financial investments in new stadiums or recently upgraded an existing one.

18 hours ago in National

U.S. security union wants more screeners to ease airport delays

airportREUTERS

The union for transportation security officers urged Congress to pay for 6,000 more full-time workers who conduct screenings to alleviate long lines at U.S. airports, a problem that caused a shakeup in the U.S. Transportation Security Administration's management.