ORLANDO, Fla. – Prior to withdrawing from the Arnold Palmer Invitational, Tiger Woods called the tournament host to send his regrets.
“I, of course, have great sympathy for the fact that he tried like hell to come here and play,” Palmer said Wednesday. “And I appreciate that and the fact that he called. I think he wanted to play golf this week. I think that he needs to take [off], whether it's this week, next week or the following week, to get ready for Augusta. Certainly if I were in that position I'd be doing much the same. And I appreciate the fact that he did call and he made every effort to play. He didn't tell me how bad his back is.”
Palmer maintained that Woods didn’t clue him in as to how bad the injury might be.
“I don't think he knows how bad his back is,” he explained. “I think he's listening to the doctors. And he mentioned that they're saying that he needs to give it a bit of a rest and see if he can work it out. He was very nice.”
On Tuesday afternoon, Woods posted the following to his website: “I personally called Arnold today to tell him that, sadly, I won't be able to play in his tournament this year. I would like to express my regrets to the Orlando fans, the volunteers, the tournament staff and the sponsors for having to miss the event. Unfortunately, my back spasms and the pain haven't subsided. It's too early to know about the Masters, and I will continue to be evaluated and work closely with my doctors. I feel badly that I won't be able to play in this great tournament this week.”