Back spasms end Tiger’s tour­ney

The Hamilton Spectator - - SPORTS -

DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMI­RATES —

Tiger Woods with­drew from the Dubai Desert Clas­sic on Fri­day with back spasms af­ter shoot­ing an open­ing-round 77 a day ear­lier, mark­ing an­other frus­trat­ing start to his return to golf from a lengthy in­jury lay­off.

Woods’s man­ager, Mark Stein­berg, said Woods had back spasms on Thurs­day night af­ter dinner.

“Tiger Woods went into a spasm in his lower back fairly late last night ... got treat­ment done early this morning for three and a half hours, but can’t get it out,” Stein­berg said. “He says it’s not the nerve, but back spasm, and he can’t get the spasms to calm down. He can move around, but he can’t make a full ro­ta­tion in his swing.”

Woods made a come­back af­ter mul­ti­ple back surg­eries af­ter a 16month lay­off, and was ex­pected to play four times in five weeks, start­ing from last week’s Farm­ers In­sur­ance Open at Tor­rey Pines, where he missed the cut.

The Euro­pean Tour, with­out giv­ing a rea­son, an­nounced his with­drawal on Fri­day be­fore Woods be­gan his sec­ond round in Dubai.

Af­ter his open­ing round, Woods said: “I wasn’t in pain at all ... I was just try­ing to hit shots and I wasn’t do­ing a very good job.”

Last week in San Diego, Woods re­turned to the PGA Tour and lasted only two days.

Woods never got any­thing go­ing af­ter start­ing with a birdie in the Farm­ers In­sur­ance Open and didn’t come close to mak­ing the cut. He missed a 12-foot birdie putt on his fi­nal hole on the North Course for an even-par 72 and missed the cut at Tor­rey Pines for the first time in his ca­reer.

Woods was com­ing off the long­est lay­off of his ca­reer as he re­cov­ered from two back surg­eries. He had last played on the PGA Tour in Au­gust 2015 at the Wyn­d­ham Cham­pi­onship, where he tied for 10th.

He played in the Ba­hamas the first week of De­cem­ber in an un­of­fi­cial event with an 18-man field and no cut.

Af­ter Dubai, Woods has a week off be­fore play­ing back-to-back weeks on both ends of the coun­try, Los An­ge­les (Ge­n­e­sis Open) and Florida (Honda Clas­sic).

ROSS KINNAIRD, GETTY IM­AGES

Tiger Woods ar­rives at the Emi­rates Golf for a short visit dur­ing the sec­ond round of the Omega Dubai Desert Clas­sic Fri­day. THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

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