This could be the end of the 2013-14 season for Tiger Woods. Woods withdrew from the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational on Sunday after his tee shot on the ninth hole, citing back pain.
Woods said the back problem was tweaked on the second shot at the par-5 second. His tee shot left him with an awkward stance to punch the ball down the fairway. While he executed the shot well, the pain increased throughout the round.
“It’s been spasming ever since,” Woods said, according to Golf Channel. “It’s just the whole lower back. I don’t know what happened.”
Afterward, Woods was unable to bend down to take off his golf shoes at his car as he planned to leave Firestone C.C.
Woods underwent microdiscectomy on March 31 to repair a pinched nerve in his back. The former world No. 1 made his return at the Quicken Loans National, a premature return by Woods’ own admission, but important for the support of his tournament, beneficiary foundation, host Congressional C.C. and first-year title sponsor Quicken Loans. He had been out of action since withdrawing from the Honda Classic on March 9.
The injury was first acknowledged publicly last August at The Barclays. At the time, Woods blamed the injury on a bad hotel bed.
It’s unclear if Woods will play in next week’s PGA Championship at Valhalla G.C., where Woods won the 2000 PGA Championship. Woods would need to win a 15th major title there for any chance to qualify for the FedEx Cup playoffs. Even if he did, it would be unclear if Ryder Cup captain Tom Watson would use a captain’s pick on Woods, who appears unable to meet Waston’s rubric of playing well and feeling healthy.