Tiger Woods withdraws from Dubai Desert Classic after back spasm
By Andy Swales
Last Updated: 03/02/17 3:43pm
Tiger Woods has withdrawn from the Omega Dubai Desert Classic ahead of his second round at Emirates Golf Club.
The 41-year-old American, who was playing in his second comeback tournament, has pulled out because of a "bad back".
In Thursday's opening round, Woods carded a five-over-par 77 which did not include a single birdie and left him outside the top 120.
The 14-time major winner arrived in the Middle East having missed the cut at the Farmers Insurance Open in San Diego last week, where he was competing in his first official PGA Tour event for 17 months.
During the past couple of years, the former world No 1 has been sidelined with back pain and has undergone a series of operations.
He has also suffered from serious leg injuries and his plan to contest four tournaments in five weeks may now have to be curtailed.
In addition to the events at Torrey Pines and Dubai, Woods was hoping to take part in the Genesis Open at Riviera (February 16-19) and Honda Classic in Palm Beach (February 23-26).
His agent Mark Steinberg remained upbeat when he spoke to the press on Friday: "He can move. He just can't make a full rotation in the swing.
"Spasms are a funny thing. I'm no doctor but they come and go. He feels it's not the nerve pain, so that's encouraging.
"He's got to get the spasms to calm down. He has his trainer here and he's been working on him for the past several hours.
"He thinks the short-term prognosis is strong based on the fact that it's not that nerve pain that I alluded too.
"I'm not aware it happened last week and it came out of nowhere. He told you guys after the round yesterday there was no pain and I saw him before he went to dinner last night and he said 'no pain'.
"But he feels terrible that he can't finish off today."
After his opening round on Thursday, Woods had told reporters he was not in any pain, as he trailed leader Sergio Garcia by 12 strokes."