Tiger Woods won’t play in this week’s Arnold Palmer Invitational due to back spasms that have plagued him for the past month.
Woods, 38, has won the tournament at the Bay Hill Club & Lodge in Orlando, Florida, eight times, including the past two years.
“I personally called Arnold today to tell him that, sadly, I won’t be able to play in his tournament this year,” Woods said yesterday in a statement on his website. “Unfortunately, my back spasms and the pain haven’t subsided.”
Woods tied for 25th in his last tournament -- the WGC Championships-Cadillac Championship in Miami -- after recovering from lower back pain that forced him to withdraw from the final round of the Honda Classic a week earlier.
“I am certainly sorry that Tiger is not able to play,” Palmer said in a statement released by the PGA Tour. “Quite obviously, we will miss having him here this week.”
The No. 1 player in the Official World Golf Ranking, Woods has said the pain was similar to what he felt during the U.S. PGA Tour’s first 2013 playoff event, the Barclays, when lower back pain brought him to his knees during the final round.
After this week’s tournament, Woods had said his next event would be the Masters Tournament, golf’s first of four annual major events, beginning on April 10.
“It’s too early to know about the Masters,” Woods said. “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.”