Woods withdraws from Torrey with back injury

By Ryan LavnerFebruary 5, 2015, 10:41 pm

SAN DIEGO – The questions surrounding Tiger Woods’ game grew louder Thursday when he withdrew during the first round of the Farmers Insurance Open because of tightness in his lower back.

Grimacing after each errant drive, Woods walked off Torrey Pines – site of arguably his greatest triumph – after only 11 holes on the North Course. He was 2 over par for the day, and once again near the bottom of the leaderboard. 

Woods was only six days removed from his worst round as a pro, an 11-over 82 that resulted in a missed cut (by 12 shots) and last-place finish at the Phoenix Open. After that round, he denied having an injury, saying that he was “fine” and that his back was “not an issue anymore.” 

First-round play was suspended for nearly 2 ½ hours Thursday because of fog, and Woods said his back tightened up during the delay.

“It just never loosened back up again,” he said during a 90-second interview in the players' parking lot, “and when we went back out it just got progressively tighter.” 

Woods hit the green on the par-3 third hole, his 12th of the day, before deciding to call it quits.

“He toughed it out a lot more than any other playing competitor; they would have dropped off earlier,” said Billy Horschel, who was grouped with Woods. “But he’s a fighter, he wants to get the rips in, he wants to play well, and he kept trying to play through it, hoping that it would loosen up. 

“I think it was getting there and then we had to wait when we made the turn and from there it was real tough to see him walk and even make swings.” 

After two months of speculation about Woods’ woeful short game, the focus once again shifts to a familiar subject: his health.

The former world No. 1 said that this is a “different” pain than what he experienced last spring, when he decided to undergo a microdiscectomy in his lower back. 

Timeline: Woods' injuries | Photos: Tiger's back injury at Farmers

“It’s just my glutes are shutting off,” he said. “They don’t activate, hence it goes into my lower back. I tried to activate my glutes the best I could, but they never stayed activated.”

In the six PGA Tour events since returning to competition last July at the Quicken Loans National, Woods has three missed cuts, two withdrawals and a 69th-place finish.

This was the ninth withdrawal of his PGA Tour career, but his third in his past eight starts.

Woods’ opening round here began ominously, with a bogey on the opening hole (No. 10) after a skulled pitch shot. He appeared to grab his back for the first time after going hard after a driver on No. 11, but he chipped in to save par. He dropped another shot on the next hole, when his tee shot flew so far right it came to rest on the 13th tee box. 

Gingerly picking up his tee and ball, Woods carded a birdie on 16, made the turn in 1-over 37 and added a birdie on No. 1. But by that point the pain was so intense that Horschel had begun picking up Woods' tee and retrieving his ball out of the cup. Woods made double bogey on his 11th hole of the day, and five minutes later he was gone.

“It’s frustrating that it started shutting down like that,” he said. “I was ready to go. I had a good warmup session the first time around, and I stood out here and got cold and it started deactivating again.”

Said Rickie Fowler, the third player in the group: “It’s tough to see. It’s hard to play when anything’s hurting.” 

His upcoming schedule is now even more of a question mark. Woods had already plunged to No. 56 in the world, and he needed a high finish at Torrey Pines to move back into the top 50 and ensure his participation at the World Golf Championships event at Doral.

Woods’ next scheduled start is the Feb. 26-March 1 Honda Classic.  

Tiger Woods Starts Since 2014 Farmers Insurance Open

Tournament Scores Finish
2015 Farmers Insurance Open +2 thru 11 WD
Waste Management Phoenix Open 73-82 Cut
2014 Hero World Challenge 77-70-69-72 T-17
PGA Championship 74-74 Cut
WGC-Bridgestone Invitational 68-71-72 WD
Open Championship 69-77-73-75 69th
Quicken Loans National 74-75 Cut
WGC-Cadillac Championship 76-73-66-78 T-25
Honda Classic 71-69-65 WD
Omega Dubai Desert Classic 68-73-70-71 T-41
Farmers Insurance Open 72-71-79 T-80

Cabreras take 1-shot lead in Father/Son

By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 11:23 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. - Two-time major champion Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. birdied their last three holes for a 13-under 59 to take a one-shot lead Saturday in the PNC Father-Son Challenge.

Cabrera, a Masters and U.S. Open champion, is making his debut in this popular 36-hole scramble. His son said he practiced hard for 10 days. What helped put him at ease was watching his father make so many putts.

''We combined very well,'' Cabrera said. ''When I hit a bad shot, he hit a good one. That's the key.''

They had a one-shot lead over Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara, who are playing for the first time. That included a birdie on the last hole, which O'Meara attributed to the strength of his son.

''My little man hit it 58 yards by me on the 18th,'' said O'Meara, the Masters and British Open champion in 1998. ''It's a little easier coming in with a 6-iron.''

Defending champions David Duval and Nick Karavites rallied over the back nine at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club for a 61. They are trying to become the first father-son team to repeat as winners since Bernhard and Stefan Langer in 2006. Larry Nelson won two years in a row in 2007 and 2008, but with different sons.

''I'd imagine we have to break 60 tomorrow to have a chance to win, but hey, stranger things have happened,'' Duval said. ''I've even done it myself.''

Duval shot 59 at the Bob Hope Classic to win in 1999 on his way to reaching No. 1 in the world that year.

Duval and his stepson were tied with Bernhard Langer and 17-year-old Jason Langer, who made two eagles on the last five holes. This Langer tandem won in 2014.

Jack Nicklaus, playing with grandson G.T., opened with a 68.

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Woods' 2018 schedule coming into focus ... or is it?

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 16, 2017, 5:46 pm

Two weeks after his successful return to competition at the Hero World Challenge, Tiger Woods’ 2018 schedule may be coming into focus.

Golfweek reported on Saturday that Woods hopes to play the Genesis Open in February according to an unidentified source with “direct knowledge of the situation.”

Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg declined to confirm the 14-time major champion would play the event and told GolfChannel.com that Woods – who underwent fusion surgery to his lower back in April – is still formulating his ’18 schedule.

Woods’ foundation is the host organization for the Genesis Open and the event supports the Tiger Woods Learning Center in Anaheim, Calif.

The Genesis Open would be Woods’ first start on the PGA Tour since he missed the cut last January at the Farmers Insurance Open.

Rose weathering delayed Indonesian Masters

By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 3:52 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead after eight holes of the third round Saturday when play was suspended for the day due to bad weather at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose was 3-under on the day and led his playing partners Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Scott Vincent. The Englishman led both players by a stroke after the second round was completed Saturday morning due to weather delays on Friday.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.

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Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 11:27 pm

Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.

The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.