Tiger Woods, the eight-time and defending champion of the Arnold Palmer Invitational, has withdrawn from the 2014 edition of the event due to lingering back problems. While Tiger Woods and his people will only say it is back spasms that require care and feeding, it is troublesome that after a long offseason he is still have health issues. According to a release from 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.”
When asked about the news, the tournament namesake and World Golf Hall of Fame member Arnold Palmer commented:
“I am certainly sorry that Tiger is not able to play. Quite obviously, we will miss having him here this week. He called me to tell me that his back was still giving him a lot of trouble and he didn’t feel he should play. I told him I understood and wished him well.”
With the Masters, the first major of the season, less than a month away it is hard to imagine a state where the World #1 will enter firing on all cylinders. He will not have many competitive rounds under his belt and an even smaller amount at 100 percent. What is his take on the Masters?
“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.”
Now if anyone can come into Augusta National cold and still have a great week that person is clearly Tiger Woods. He has four green jackets in his closet and came a couple of unfortunate instances in 2013 from possibly winning a fifth. It is too early to rule out Tiger Woods and the Masters but the fact that his spasms have not improved is clearly a point of concern.