Tiger Woods withdrew from the Omega Dubai Desert Classic about an hour before his second round was set to begin citing back spasms.
There’s good and bad news associated with the 14-time major winner’s latest WD, most notably that Woods — via his agent — said that the spasms were not related to the nerve pain that forced him to sit out for 16 months.
Tiger Woods withdrew from the Dubai Desert Classic on Friday with back spasms after shooting an opening-round 77 a day earlier, marking another frustrating start to his return to golf from a lengthy injury layoff.
Woods’ manager, Mark Steinberg, said Woods had back spasms on Thursday night after dinner.
“Tiger Woods went into a spasm in his lower back fairly late last night … got treatment done early this morning for 3 1-2 hours, but can’t get it out,” Steinberg said. “He says it’s not the nerve, but back spasm, and he can’t get the spasms to calm down. He can move around, but he can’t make a full rotation in his swing.”
Woods made a comeback after multiple back surgeries after a 16-month layoff, and was expected to play four times in five weeks, starting from last week’s Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines, where he missed the cut.
The European Tour, without giving a reason, announced his withdrawal on Friday before Woods began his second round in Dubai.
— The European Tour (@EuropeanTour) February 3, 2017
After his opening round, Woods said: “I wasn’t in pain at all … I was just trying to hit shots and I wasn’t doing a very good job.”
Last week in San Diego, Woods returned to the PGA Tour and lasted only two days.
Woods is optimistic that he will still be able to tee it up in Los Angeles in two weeks for the Genesis Open at Riviera Counntry Club, an event that benefits his foundation.
Tiger posted a 5-over 77 during the first and only round of the Dubai Desert Classic, his highest score outside the U.S. in a non-major since 1996. Couple that performance with a missed cut at the Farmers Insurance Open last weekend and he was bound to draw some criticism.
One such person who relishes these moments is Golf Channel’s Brandel Chamblee, who spoke Thursday on Golf Central. While he says he hopes Tiger does make a comeback, he doesn’t expect it to happen based on the way he’s looked over the last two weeks.