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Tiger Woods withdraws from Riviera with flu symptoms. His 2024 debut lasts only 24 holes

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Tiger Woods returned to the PGA Tour and lasted only 24 holes, withdrawing Friday from the Genesis Invitational with flu-like symptoms and dehydration after hitting his tee shot on the seventh hole at Riviera.

Rob McNamara, his longtime associate and vice president of TGR Ventures, said Woods felt flu symptoms Thursday night that worsened when he woke up.

“He had a little bit of a fever and was better during the warm-up, but then when he got out there and was walking and playing, he started feeling dizzy,” McNamara told a PGA Tour official. “Ultimately, the doctors are saying he’s got potentially some type of flu and that he was dehydrated. He’s been treated with an IV bag and he’s doing much, much better, and he’ll be released on his own here soon."

Woods left Riviera about two hours after he withdrew, sitting in the front seat of a red SUV as it departed.

He was 1-over par for the round — 2 over for the tournament — and projected just outside the cut when he asked for a cart and was driven off the course by a rules official. He has been walking slowly and looked drained of energy playing the front nine.

“He obviously wasn’t himself, just didn’t look right. Saw that before the round started,” said Gary Woodland, who played in the same group with Woods along with Justin Thomas. “Obviously, everything’s better with him there and for him for his first tournament back and he couldn’t come out and finish the way he wanted to, that sucks for all of us.”

Woodland said he noticed Woods being quieter than normal, though they all were trying to make sure they were among the top 50 to make the cut.

“I feel bad for him. He wasn’t right,” Woodland said. “He definitely was trying to fight through it and I hope he’s all right.”

The 48-year-old Woods still managed to create quite a spectacle at Riviera.

An ambulance and a ladder truck from the Los Angeles Fire Department were parked outside the clubhouse, presumably waiting for Woods. PGA Tour officials said IV fluid bags were needed and there were none at Riviera, so the paramedics had to deliver them.

Photographers and media crowded near the ambulance next to a 6-foot high hedge raised cameras and mobile phones when there was movement, except the trucks were leaving without Woods.

On the golf course, there was a steady stream of spectators headed for the exit. Woodland and Thomas approached the ninth green surrounded by only a few hundred fans.

Woods had not played an official event since the Masters last April, withdrawing in the middle of the rain-delayed third round. He played the unofficial Hero World Challenge in December against a 20-man field with no cut, and the 36-hole PNC Championship with his son, Charlie.

Woods now has played six official tournaments since returning from a February 2021 car crash in Los Angeles that shattered bones in his right leg. He has pulled out of three of them — the 2022 PGA Championship after 54 holes, the 2023 Masters when he didn’t return Sunday morning to complete the third round.

Woods had said he hoped to play one tournament a month through the major season. He had said Thursday he was experiencing back spasms, which led to his shank on the final hole when he started the tournament with a 72.

Along with playing, Woods is the tournament host of the Genesis Invitational that is run by his TGR foundation.

His week in Los Angeles began with plenty of hype — the launch of his new apparel line with TaylorMade Golf and his first PGA Tour start of the year.

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AP golf: https://apnews.com/hub/golf