Woods withdraws from play-off with side strain

Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods has withdrawn from the first of the PGA Tour’s play-off events at Liberty National in New Jersey because of a problem with his side.

The 15-time major champion struggled to a four-over-par 75 on Thursday during his first round since missing the cut at The Open last month.

Woods, who had spinal fusion surgery in April 2017, said he has a “mild oblique strain that led to pain and stiffness”.

“I went for treatment early Friday morning,” said the 43-year-old.

“But unfortunately I’m still unable to compete.

“I’d like to thank the New Jersey and New York fans for their support and remain hopeful I can compete next week at the BMW Championship.”

The American was only able to practise chipping and putting in Wednesday’s pro-am and joked that at least he had broken 80 during Thursday’s opening round.

Woods has played a very limited schedule since he won the Masters, with this only his fifth start since that victory in April.

His fifth Green Jacket capped a comeback from four operations on his back which saw him drop to world number 1,199.

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