Tiger Woods: Will He Ever Hold a Major Trophy Again?
Tiger Woods’s decision to pull out of the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill is stirring up concern in the golf world. With the Masters less than a month away, the concern is warranted. Woods, like other players, has traditionally used Bay Hill as a warm up for the Masters, the first major golf tournament of the year held in Augusta, Georgia. He has won at Bay Hill eight times, a dominance that merited him his own section in the “history” portion of the tournament’s website.
But back pain caused the world’s No. 1 to withdraw. “I personally called Arnold today to tell him that, sadly, I won’t be able to play in his tournament this year,” Woods wrote on his website. “Unfortunately, my back spasms and the pain haven’t subsided. 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.”
It is the second time this month Woods’s back pain has prevented tournament play. He pulled out of the Honda Classic earlier in March, and was plagued by spasms at another tournament, the WGC-Cadillac Championship in Doral, Florida. Woods ended that tournament T25, shooting a 78 in his final round of play. As SB Nation points out, this was his worst round at Doral ever.
These events were merely the minor warning signs; the biggest signal that something is seriously wrong stems from his backing out of Bay Hill. It is the warm-up for the Masters, where Woods has won four times; for two of those wins (2001 and 2002) he was fresh off a victory at Bay Hill.