Tiger Woods withdraws from Northern Trust

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JERSEY CITY – Tiger Woods withdrew from the Northern Trust on Friday morning, a few hours before its 12:33 PM. start time, specifying a mild slanting sprain. It is the first time he has failed to complete an event that he started since returning to competitive wave of spinal fusion surgery last year, which he described as "a last resort" after three less complex operations.

The last time Woods, 43, withdrew from a PGA Tour event after the promotion was started, was at the Farmers Insurance Open in 2015. By the end of that year, he had undergone two back procedures. He also withdrew after the first day of a tournament in Dubai in 2017.

Woods played only 12 league rounds this week since he won the Masters this year for his first major title since 2008. He said he is limited in how much he can practice or play without feeling more than the usual amount of pain or risking any other injury that would probably end his career and possibly even affect his quality of life off course.

Woods played nine holes on Tuesday and woke up on Wednesday. This led him not to shoot shots with woodland or irons during most of the last nine of his pro-am round. He walked next to his amateur partners and beat putts and chips. The last time Woods played on this track, in the 2013 FedEx Cup playoffs, he suffered back cramps during his final round, and after one shot, from the 13th fairway, he fell to his knees in pain.

On Thursday, Woods showed no such inconvenience during his four-over-75 round at Liberty National Golf Club in the opening round of this year's first FedEx Cup playoff event. Aside from stretching his lower back into the tee box for his first shot, he seemed fine. After the round, Woods said that his back was "a bit stiff," and added, "but that's exactly how it will be."

He was 13 strokes out of the lead and entered the second round, and he knew he had to shoot a low score on Friday to survive the 36-hole cut. After waking up to what he & # 39; pain and stiffness & # 39; mentioned, Woods sought treatment in the morning in an attempt to play.

"But unfortunately I still can't compete," he said in a statement released by the PGA Tour.

Jordan Spieth, who opened with a 67, was in the middle of a second round on Friday morning when fans' phones started buzzing with news stories in his gallery. Several people pulled away from his group as the word began to spread that Woods had withdrawn.

"I know what I heard when I arrived here, that he was struggling a bit with his back," Spieth said after he signed for a total of 64 and a 36-hole of 10 under. Referring to Woods' back cramps in 2013, Spieth added, "Certainly if you have that kind of memory, that is not going to make anything better."

Woods next scheduled start is next week's BMW Championship. Woods, an 81-time PGA Tour champion, must play well at that event to advance to the third and final playoff event, the 30-man Tour Championship, which he won last year.

"I remain hopeful that I can compete next week," Woods said.

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