Tiger Woods withdraws from Omega Dubai Desert Classic

Tiger Woods withdraws from Omega Dubai Desert Classic

The former world No. 1 pulled out midway because of back spasms.

By James Jose

Published: Fri 3 Feb 2017, 12:17 PM

Last updated: Mon 6 Feb 2017, 1:59 PM

It's the back again. Former world No.1 Tiger Woods has pulled out midway through the Omega Dubai Desert Classic because of back spasms, his agent Mark Stienberg said on Friday afternoon.
Woods, making his first appearance on the European Tour after an 18-month lay-off following a chronic back injury, had a testing time in the opening round of the Desert Classic on Thursday.
Woods, who underwent surgery for his troublesome back, had shot a five-over par round of 77 at the Majlis Course of the Emirates Golf Club. It was his first appearance in three years in Dubai and his eighth appearance in the Emirate.
The five-over was Woods' worst in 29 rounds in Dubai. Woods had won the tournament in 2006 and 2008 and finished in the top five on five occasions.    
The event was also the second on his comeback trail after he had played at the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines last week.
Although Woods had appeared a bit pensive on Thursday, the 41-year-old had said he wasn't in any pain. But following dinner on Thursday night, the back spasms came back to haunt him.
And while he began treatment in a bid to play the second round on Friday afternoon, the back spasms just didn't go away.
Woods, who was 12 shots off the leader Spaniard Sergio Garcia, was set to tee off from the par-4 first along with defending champion Danny Willett and DP World Tour Championship winner Matthew Fitzpatrick at 12.35 p.m.
Just before noon, Steinberg told the media that Woods had to withdraw and added that the 14-time Major champion was disappointed.
"He wanted to be here. He wants to be here. He just feels terrible that he can't, you know, finish it out today (Friday)," Steinberg said on Friday.
 "He felt okay coming off the golf course yesterday (Thursday). So, he wasn't in pain. I didn't see him at dinner but said he was okay. And went into a spasm in his lower back, fairly late last night after dinner.
"Tried to work it out last night. Didn't really get it worked out. Had treatment starting pretty early this morning, for probably the past three, 3 1/2 hours, and he can't get the spasm - it's a back spasm.
"He says it's not the nerve pain that's kept him out for so long. He says it's a back spasm and he just can't get the spasm to calm down. So that's where we are. Feels terrible. Talked to Matthew (Fitzpatrick) and Danny (Willett), feels awful, and he feels terrible for the tournament," said Steinberg.
Steinberg revealed that although he can move, Woods can't make a full rotation on the swing. He also confirmed that it was just the spasm and not the nerve pain Woods has had.
"I think spasms are a funny thing. I'm certainly no doctor but they come and go. And again, the fact that he feels as though it's not the nerve pain, that's very encouraging for him," he said.
"He's had some spasms before. No doubt about it. He's got to get the spasm to calm down from what I gather. He has his trainer here, which is good, and that's who has been working on him for the past several hours.
"Look, he doesn't have the strongest back in the world, right. So it's probably easier to spasm because of the issues he's had. So I'm sure there's a variety of factors that can play into it," he added.

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