Tiger Woods May Not Defend WGC Title This Week With Back Spasms

Tiger Woods said he doesn’t know whether he’ll be able to defend his title at the WGC Championships-Cadillac Championship this week after lower back pain forced his withdrawal yesterday at the Honda Classic.

Woods, No. 1 in the Official World Golf Ranking, withdrew 13 holes into his final round at the tournament in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. He was 5-over par for the round, which he entered tied for 17th after shooting a 5-under 65 the previous day.

“It’s my lower back with spasms,” Woods, 38, said in a statement yesterday after withdrawing.

Woods 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. He pulled out of a charity event two days later.

Asked if he’d be able to defend his title this week at Trump National Doral in Miami, was said: “It’s too early to tell.”

“I need treatment every day until Thursday to try and calm it down,” he said. “We’ll see how it is.”

It was the sixth time Woods has withdrawn from a tournament in 297 career starts.

Russell Henley won the Honda Classic, beating Rory McIlroy, Ryan Palmer and Russell Knox in a playoff.

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