8am Round-Up: Tiger Woods cancels press event as back spasms continue

Tiger Woods had been due to host a news conference at the Genesis Open in Los Angeles today as the tournament host. Picture: AP

Tiger Woods had been due to host a news conference at the Genesis Open in Los Angeles today as the tournament host. Picture: AP

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The back spasms that forced Tiger Woods to pull out of the Omega Dubai Desert Classic a fortnight ago have now led to him cancelling a press conference.

Even though he’s not playing in the event, having announced his withdrawal last Friday, the former world No 1 had been due to face the media today at the Genesis Open in Los Angeles.

Woods’ foundation, which is based in Anaheim, runs the tournament at Riviera Country Club and, as the tournament host, he was scheduled to attend a news conference.

Originally scheduled for Tuesday, it was pushed back to Wednesday before being cancelled due to the 14-time major winner having been “advised by doctors to limit activities”, according to a statement released by the Genesis Open organisers.

Woods’s agent, Mark Steinberg, later insisted that the decision was “precautionary”, but the events of the past couple of weeks don’t look good for the 42-year-old as far as his career is concerned.

Woods only made his comeback from a 15-month lay-off after three separate back surgeries in December and was hit by the back spasms in just his third event.

In an interview with ESPN, Steinberg said: “This isn’t about him not doing a press conference. What is going to be accomplished? What is he going to say? That he hopes his back spasms calm down.

“This is about the Genesis Open, the Tiger Woods Foundation and supporting Hyundai [the tournament sponsor] and his foundation. He is doing all he can without having to get up and move around all that much so that he can put himself in the best position to recover.

“He’s just having a hard time getting these spasms to calm down. And he’s working on that on an hourly basis. He’s got personnel working with him to help pacify that.”

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Perth man Daniel Young made an encouraging start to his second season on the Alps Tour as Walker Cup team-mates Ewen Ferguson and Jack McDonald also carded par-breaking efforts in the opening round of the season on the third-tier circuit in Egypt.

Young, who won the South African Amateur Championship just under two years ago, recorded an eagle and four birdies in posting a five-under-par 67 in the Ein Bay Open at Sokhna Golf Club.

It left the 25-year-old sitting joint-seventh, three shots behind French pacesetter Julien Brun, as Ferguson and McDonald, both members of the 2015 winning Walker Cup team at Royal Lytham, marked their Tour debuts with macthing 71s. Ferguson carded five birdes, two more than McDonald.

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Kirkhill’s Craig Ross, made the best start among a posse of Scots in the Sanlam Cape Province Open Championship at Kingswood in George.

Aided by three birdies in four holes, Ross shot a three-under-par 69 to lie joint-eight, four shots behind the leader, Frenchman Paul Margolis.

Banchory’s Sam Locke had been threatening the lead after he stormed to the turn in five-under before dropping six shots coming home, leaving him having to settle for a 73.

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Catriona Matthew left fellow Scot Michele Thomson pinching herself in a practice round, the day after she grabbed an improtu photograph with world No 1 in the build up to this week’s ISPS Handa Australian Women’s Open at Royal Adelaide.

“Thanks for the round today. It was amazing to play with my idol,” wrote Thomson, who is making her debut on the LPGA Tour, in a message to long-time Scottish No 1 Matthew on Twitter.

The practice round for Thomson came a day after the Meldrum House-attached player had grabbed an impromptu photograph with world No 1 Lydia Ko in the locker-room and she added: “This @WomensAusOpen just keeps getting better.”

Matthew paired with Beatriz Recari from Spain and Californian Danielle Kang in the first two rounds, Thomson will play with Australia’s Eui Kyung Shin and Perrine Delacour from France while Gemma Dryburgh, the third Scot in the field, is out with will play with Aussie amateur Karis Davidson and American Karen Chung.

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Former chief executive George O’Grady has been appointed as a second European Tour Ambassador, joining Spaniard Angel Gallardo in that role.

“Relationships are important to us and, as an Ambassador, George will be able to help the Tour as it develops its global footprint,” said European Tour chairman David Williams in announcing the 67-year-old’s appointment.

O’Grady added: George O’Grady said: “I am delighted to accept the role of European Tour Ambassador and thus maintain my long association with the Tour.

“I am confident that any new additional roles I accept will be of great benefit to the Tour and will assist the current strategies that see the Tour so well positioned at this exciting time for the future.”

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Falkirk’s Ryan Campbell handed himself an early-season boost with a strong performance on the Evolve Pro Tour at Lo Romero in Spain.

He closed with a best-of-the-day 66 for an eight-under-par total in the 54-hole event, finishing joint-second behind Swede Henric Sturhed.

Another Scot, Neil Henderson, also gave a good account of himself, signing off with a last-hole birdie in a 68 to claim seventh spot.

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Wallace Booth is sitting 50th after an opening one-over-par 73 in the Mediter Real Estate Masters, a Ecco Tour Winter Series event at PGA Catalunya.

The Pitlochry Golf Club-attached player signed for three birdies and four bogeys on the Stadium Course at the Girona venue.

Norwegian amateur Christopher Reitan carded a six-under 66 on the same course while Frenchman Adrien Bernadet shot a 64 on the Tour Course.

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Players competing on the PGA EuroPro Tour this season will get the chance to take part in a new par-three challenge with a £100,000 hole-in-one bonus.

Set to take place on Cumberwell Park’s spectacular new nine-hole par three course on Tuesday, June 27, the par-three event will see the winner take home £1,000.

The top 25 players will then be joined by the professional winner of the Cumberwell Park Pro-Am for a hole-in-one shoot out.

I’m sure every player on the tour will enter our tournament at Cumberwell Park in the hope of taking home the £100,00,” said Daniel Godding, the Tour’s director of operations.

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