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

in Black Friday, Entertainment

‘Frozen’ tops Barbie as top girls’ holiday pick

frozen

The results marked the first time in 11 years that Barbie hasn't held the No. 1 spot in the annual toy survey.

in Music

One Direction makes Billboard history

FILE - This Nov. 26, 2013 file photo shows One Direction members, from left, Harry Styles, Louis Tomlinson, Liam Payne, Zayn Malik and Niall Horan on ABC's "Good Morning America"in New York. A representative for One Direction says the band’s lawyers are dealing with a video showing two band members smoking what the singers referred to as an “illegal substance.” British tabloid The Daily Mail posted a five-minute clip Tuesday, May 27, 2014, of Zayn Malik smoking and speaking with Louis Tomlinson, who is filming.

The British boy band became the only group to score four consecutive No. 1 debuts on the U.S. Billboard 200 album chart.

in Entertainment

Today in entertainment history: Nov. 27

beatles

A look at some of the Hollywood headlines that made history.

in Black Friday, Entertainment

‘TIS THE SEASON: Holiday specials airing this week

Frosty the Snowman

Here's a look at Christmas classics and new holiday favorites airing this weekend.

in Black Friday, Entertainment, National

Obama pardons ‘Cheese,’ America’s top turkey

turkeypardon

The President pardoned the official Thanksgiving turkey in a tradition that is truly American.