Tiger Woods faces additional questions on his future regardless of being optimistic of a “strong” restoration following his newest demoralising harm withdrawal.
Woods insisted he had not suffered an harm setback after a gap 77 within the Omega Dubai Desert Basic, the 14-time main winner failing to card a single birdie at Emirates Golf Membership.
Nonetheless, the 41-year-old pulled out of what was simply his third occasion since August 2015 earlier than the beginning of Friday’s second spherical resulting from a again spasm, elevating additional hypothesis that he’s near the tip of his stellar profession.
In his first 322 begins as an expert, Woods withdrew from simply 5 occasions. In his final 19 begins, he has withdrawn 4 occasions.
The previous world primary is now ranked outdoors the highest 650 and with no win since 2013, whereas his final main title got here within the 2008 US Open.
“He can’t get the spasm to calm down,” Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg informed reporters in Dubai in an interview additionally broadcast on Sky Sports activities. “He can move around, he just can’t make a full rotation on the swing.”
Woods mentioned on Wednesday that his newest swing has been designed to ”play away” from the nerve ache attributable to a again harm which required three operations within the house of 19 months.
“Spasms are a funny thing,” Steinberg added. “I am actually no physician however they arrive and go. The truth that he feels although it isn’t the nerve ache, that is very encouraging for him.
“He is bought to get the spasm to relax. He has his coach right here which is nice. That is who has been engaged on him for the previous a number of hours.
“He’ll get it to calm down and, forget about the long term, the short-term prognosis he thinks hopefully will be strong based on the fact that it’s not that nerve pain.”
Steinberg mentioned Woods had not been in ache throughout or after his opening spherical, however admitted the lengthy flight from California to Dubai might have been an element.
“I’m sure there are so many different factors that could play into it,” he added. “He does not have the strongest again on the planet, so it is in all probability simpler to spasm due to the problems he is had.
“But he wanted to be here. He wants to be here and just feels terrible he can’t finish it out today.”
Woods didn’t look 100 per cent match at varied factors throughout his opening spherical, climbing gingerly out of a greenside bunker on his first gap and notably grimacing as he walked off the tee on the seventh, his 16th.
“No, I wasn’t in pain at all,” Woods mentioned on the time. “I was just trying to hit shots and I wasn’t doing a very good job. At the end I finally hit some good ones but the damage had already been done.”
Woods had by no means completed outdoors the highest 5 in his first 5 appearances in Dubai, lifting the trophy in 2006 and 2008 and having fun with a scoring common of 68.71.
However his opening 77 had left him with a large activity to keep away from a second missed minimize in a row after making an early exit from his first PGA Tour occasion since August 2015 in San Diego final week.
It stays to be seen how critical the setback is, with Woods set to have per week off earlier than competing within the Genesis Open at Riviera and the Honda Basic at PGA Nationwide.
He at the very least averted risking additional injury and one other excessive rating as play was suspended resulting from excessive winds in mid-afternoon, with South Africa’s George Coetzee a shot forward of Sergio Garcia after eight holes.