Woods with­draws from Dubai with back spasm

Tiger be­gan to feel pain Thu night: agent

Global Times - Weekend - - SPORTS - Agen­cies

Former world No.1 Tiger Woods has pulled out of the Dubai Desert Clas­sic ahead of his sec­ond round be­cause of a back spasm, the Euro­pean Tour said Fri­day.

The Amer­i­can 14-time ma­jor cham­pion, now ranked 666th af­ter his long in­jury lay­off due to a se­ries of back is­sues, shot a mis­er­able fiveover 77 on Thurs­day, a round in which he failed to record a sin­gle birdie in per­fect con­di­tions.

Woods’ agent Mark Stein­berg said the player started to feel pain on Thurs­day night and re­gret­ted hav­ing to pull out.

“He felt okay com­ing off the golf course yes­ter­day [Thurs­day],” Stein­berg told re­porters. “So he wasn’t in pain. I didn’t see him at din­ner, but he said he was OK.

“He then went into a spasm in his lower back, fairly late last night af­ter din­ner.

“We tried to work it out last night [but] re­ally didn’t get worked out.

“We had treat­ment start­ing very early this morn­ing for the past three, three and a half hours, but can’t get the back spasm to calm down. He feels ter­ri­ble.”

Stein­berg said the prob­lem was not the same nerve pain that caused Woods’ lengthy ab­sence from the sport.

Ap­pear­ing for the eighth time in Dubai, where he has won twice be­fore, the 41-yearold Woods looked out of sorts in his open­ing round as he con­tin­ued his come­back at the Euro­pean Tour event.

His chances of avoid­ing an­other early exit looked slim on Thurs­day, how­ever, with the Amer­i­can ap­pear­ing to be in some dis­com­fort as he strug­gled to find a rhythm.

Af­ter his round, Woods said he had not felt any pain on the course but failed to even make it to the prac­tice range on Fri­day, with­draw­ing from the event a dis­tant 12 shots be­hind overnight leader Ser­gio Gar­cia.

Woods had also looked rusty when he played his first full-field PGA Tour event in 17 months a week ago af­ter be­ing side­lined by back pain and spine surgery, com­fort­ably miss­ing the cut at the Farm­ers In­sur­ance Open at Tor­rey Pines in La Jolla, Cal­i­for­nia.

The lat­est set­back could put Woods’ par­tic­i­pa­tion in his next sched­uled event in doubt with the Amer­i­can due to tee off at the PGA Tour Ge­n­e­sis Open at the Riviera Coun­try Club in Pa­cific Pal­isades, Cal­i­for­nia on Fe­bru­ary 16.

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