Tiger Woods withdraws from Farmers Insurance Open

Woods managed only 11 holes in his first round at Torrey Pines before pulling out of the tournament. Picture: Getty
Woods managed only 11 holes in his first round at Torrey Pines before pulling out of the tournament. Picture: Getty
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TIGER Woods suffered yet another setback in his long battle with injury as he was forced to withdraw from the Farmers Insurance Open in California on Thursday.

Woods, who missed last year’s Masters and the US Open after having surgery on a pinched nerve, managed only 11 holes in his first round at Torrey Pines before pulling out of the tournament.

The 14-time Major winner appeared to hurt his back after hitting his tee shot at the 12th - his third hole of the day - but carried on for eight more holes before calling it a day.

Fog had led to a lengthy suspension of play before Woods teed off, and he said the disruption to his warm-up routine had caused the back problems to flare up.

“When we had that break I never loosened back up again and then when we went back out it got progressively tighter,” he said on Sky Sports 4.

“It’s frustrating that it started shutting down like that. I was ready to go. I had a good warm-up session and then we stood out here getting cold and everything deactivated again. I just can’t stay activated. That’s the way it is.”

Woods said this was the first time he has experienced such a situation as he tries to manage his comeback.

“Usually you don’t have to wait like this,” he said. “At home practising I keep going and keep going. This is different.

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“My glutes (gluteus maximus muscles) are shutting off. If they don’t activate it goes into the lower back. I tried to activate my glutes best I could but they didn’t stay activated.”

The 39-year-old former world number one was two-over-par when he withdrew, having double-bogeyed his final hole while also dropping shots at the 10th and 12th.

He had chipped in for par on the second hole, but it was a rare highlight in another wayward outing.

Woods’ injury comes just six days after he recorded the worst round of his career when he shot an 11-over-par 82 at the Waste Management Phoenix Open.

Woods was sidelined for much of 2014 after he underwent surgery in April and has suffered indifferent form ever since.

The American finished 69th at the Open at Royal Liverpool in July, while a month later he missed just his fourth cut in 66 majors as a professional after suffering yet more back trouble at the US PGA Championship at Valhalla.

Woods subsequently ruled himself out of consideration for a captain’s pick for the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles in September because of injury and later revealed he did not feel he could have won a point for the United States.

Woods made an underwhelming return to golf by shooting a five-over-par first round at the Hero World Challenge in December and it has gone from bad to worse in his first two tournaments of 2015.

His withdrawal on Thursday was the ninth of his career to date, and the third in his last eight. He has not won a PGA Tour event since 2013 and has not won a major since 2008.

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