Tiger withdraws from Arnold Palmer Invitational due to neck strain

Tiger withdraws from Arnold Palmer Invitational due to neck strain

Tiger Woods last played in the World Golf Championships-Mexico Championship on February 24 in Mexico City.

Woods added he hoped to be fit for The Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass from March 14-17 as he builds towards next month's Masters.

Woods, 43, is coming off a bounce-back season after years of health problems that included spinal fusion surgery.

Woods publicly announced on Monday that his recent treatment for a neck strain had not improved enough to take part in the tour event. Instead of rest, and in a somewhat surprising decision, Woods travelled directly to Mexico to play in the WGC Mexico Championship. Tiger reiterated that he hoped he would be ready for the Players.

The Arnold Palmer Invitational starts Thursday at Bay Hill Golf Course in Bay Hill, Fla.

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The American, in his first competitive appearance south of the border, sent murmurs of disbelief through the packed gallery when he four-putted at the 15th hole at Club de Golf Chapultepec in Mexico City.

This withdrawal is unexpected and the first injury blip we've seen from Woods since he returned to regularly playing the PGA Tour at the beginning of 2018.

Without marking his ball, Woods stroked his third putt, which also lipped out, and he walked off with a double-bogey. Woods finished tied for second at the Valspar previous year, and it seems as if he would come back if he could. "Its connection to Arnold makes it one of my favorite tournaments and I'm disappointed to miss it", Woods said in a follow-up tweet.

Woods (69) tied for 10th, 13 shots behind Johnson.

The King ranks fifth all-time with 62 career PGA Tour victories and seventh on the list with seven major championships.

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