DUBAI — Tiger Woods was forced to withdraw from the Omega Dubai Desert Classic on Friday due to a bad back.
The 14-time major winner, who opened with a 77, was to tee off at 12.35, but decided to pull out before the start of his second round.
“Tiger felt okay coming off the course on Thursday. He wasn’t in pain, but went into a spasm in his lower back fairly late last night after dinner,” Mark Steinberg, Woods’ manager told reports on Friday.
“He (Tiger) says it’s not the nerve pain that has kept him out for so long. He says it’s a back spasm and he just can’t get the spasm to calm down. He feels terrible for Matthew (Fitzpatrick) and Danny (Willett), his playing partners.
“Look, he doesn’t have the strongest back in the world, right. So, it’s probably easier to spasm. I am sure there are a variety of factors that can play into it. He can move around, but he can’t make a full rotation in his swing.
“Tiger wanted to be here in Dubai. He wants to be here. He just feels terrible that he can’t,” Steinberg said.
Commented Mohamed Juma Buamaim, vice chairman abd CEO of golf in DUBAi: “Obviously, losing Tiger from the tournament is a big blow, but what is most important is his health – as it was with Rory. We don’t want him playing and doing any lasting damage. We wish him a speedy recovery.”