Rose WDs Hero; Tiger to play solo Rd. 2

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NASSAU, Bahamas – Justin Rose has withdrawn from the Hero World Challenge, leaving tournament host Tiger Woods without a playing partner for the second round at Albany Golf Club.

Rose was making his first stroke-play start since the BMW Championship in September, having taken several weeks off to recover from a lingering back injury that also caused him to miss starts in the spring. He shot a 2-over 74 in the first round then informed tournament officials of his withdrawal Friday morning, citing a “slight injury” to his back.

The decision leaves only 17 players in the field, and it means that Woods will play by himself in the first group of the day at 11:12 a.m. ET. After briefly holding a share of the lead through eight holes, Woods shot a 1-over 73 in his first competitive round in nearly 16 months. After Rose’s exit, Woods is now alone in last place heading into the second round.

This is the second time in as many years that Woods has played a PGA Tour round solo. He also played by himself for the final round of the 2015 Memorial after plummeting to last place with a third-round 85.

J.B. Holmes leads the tournament by one shot over Hideki Matsuyama after an 8-under 64 in the opening round.