We won't be seeing Tiger Woods go for a ninth title at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, as the No. 1 player in the world officially withdrew from the event on Tuesday.
Woods made the announcement on his website, citing back issues that caused him to withdraw from the Honda Classic on March 2 and struggled through the Cadillac Championship two weeks ago at Doral.
Via his website:
"I personally called Arnold today to tell him that, sadly, I won't be able to play in his tournament this year. I would like to express my regrets to the Orlando fans, the volunteers, the tournament staff and the sponsors for having to miss the event. Unfortunately, my back spasms and the pain haven't subsided.
"It's too early to know about the Masters, and I will continue to be evaluated and work closely with my doctors. I feel badly that I won't be able to play in this great tournament this week."
The decision isn't that shocking if you've watched Woods play the last two tournaments, but it does say a lot about the issues he is dealing with and brings up major concerns about the Masters.
We are three weeks away from the start of the first major of the year, and Woods could go into it without much experience in a tournament setting, which would definitely point Tiger towards a 19th straight major without a win.
Woods doesn't usually play another event between Bay Hill and Augusta, meaning unless he adds the Valero Texas Open or the Shell Houston Open, he will be attempting to do something he's never done: win the Masters without winning earlier in the season. (In three tournaments this year, Woods has finished T80, WD and T25.)
Tiger, now 38, has been dealing with health issues over the last few years, and for now it seems that more than his golf swing, it's his body that has been the biggest drag for a man still searching for that 15th major championship.
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