Tiger Woods withdraws from Arnold Palmer Invitational with neck strain

Mar 18 2018 Orlando FL USA Tiger Woods gets ready to tee off on the first hole during the final round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational golf tournament at Bay Hill Club & Lodge. Mandatory Credit Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Mar 18 2018 Orlando FL USA Tiger Woods gets ready to tee off on the first hole during the final round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational golf tournament at Bay Hill Club & Lodge. Mandatory Credit Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

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The 43-year-old, eight-times victor of the tournament at Bay Hill in Orlando, announced on Twitter that he had been struggling with the problem for some time.

He hopes to play in next week's Players' Championship at Sawgrass.

The 14-time major champion says his previously troublesome lower back is unaffected and he has no long-term concerns.

"I'd like to send my regrets to the Palmer family and the Orlando fans", Woods said.

His three-putt at the next, where he missed a five-footer, was not quite as dramatic but hardly less disappointing for one of the greatest talents to have played the game. Instead of rest, and in a somewhat surprising decision, Woods travelled directly to Mexico to play in the WGC Mexico Championship.

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Woods didn't specify what caused his neck pain, but he skipped the Honda Classic last week and during the British Open previous year, he wore KT Tape on his neck after he woke up with stiffness.

Before undergoing his fourth back surgery in April 2017, Woods suffered from discomfort so severe that he needed help getting out of bed for months.

Woods last played at the WGC-Mexico Championship from February 21-24, tying for 10th place.

"And there were some days where you'd help me and I couldn't stand up", he continued.

Woods had played 22,640 holes on the PGA Tour when he approached the 15th, where everything looked in order as he coaxed a birdie putt up to inside four feet. He did make sure to note that his injury is not considered long-term. The 14-time major victor finished tied for 10th at the 2019 World Golf Championships-Mexico Championship on February 24 in Mexico City.

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