SAN DIEGO — For the third time in his past nine tournaments, Tiger Woods has withdrawn with a back injury.
Woods made it to the green on his 12th hole Thursday at Torrey Pines North course before calling it quits in the first round of the Farmers Insurance Open.
Despite last week saying he had no back issues since his return to competitive golf in December, Woods started showing signs of distress early in Thursday’s round, favoring his lower back.
He later blamed it on the lengthy fog delay that pushed back the start of his round by more than two hours.
“It just never loosened back up again,” Woods said during a 90-second media session before getting into his courtesy car. “And when we went back out, it just got progressively tighter.”
Woods, who started his round on the back nine, bogeyed two of his first three holes, again showing signs of the short-game woes that plagued him last week when he missed the cut at the Waste Management Phoenix Open — though he chipped in for par on his second.
“It’s frustrating that it started shutting down like that,” Woods said. “I was ready to go. I had a good warm-up session the first time around. Then we stood out here and I got cold, and everything started deactivating again. And it’s frustrating that I just can’t stay activated. That’s just kind of the way it is.”
It is the sixth time Woods has withdrawn from a tournament due to injury in 304 PGA Tour starts, but all of them have occurred since 2010. Last year he withdrew during the final round of the Honda Classic with back problems, and a few weeks later he had surgery to repair a disk in his lower back.
Woods fell to 56th in the World Golf Ranking this week and is sure to drop further now.