After initially committing to play the Arnold Palmer Invitational, Tiger Woods was a late scratch as the golfer withdrew with a neck injury. Woods released a statement on Twitter during the week of the tournament providing a few details on his upcoming schedule.
1) Unfortunately due to a neck strain that I’ve had for a few weeks, I’m forced to withdraw from the API. I’ve been receiving treatment, but it hasn’t improved enough to play. My lower back is fine, and I have no long-term concerns, and I hope to be ready for The Players.
2) I’d like to send my regrets to the Palmer family and the Orlando fans. Its connection to Arnold makes it one of my favorite tournaments and I’m disappointed to miss it.
Woods is calling the injury a “neck strain” and noted he plans to participate in THE PLAYERS next week. While the injury does not appear to be serious, there is some cause for concern based on Woods’ injury history. Woods has had multiple back surgeries. Dr. Ara Suppiah is the doctor of several PGA Tour golfers and noted to Golf Digest that the injury does not sound significant.
“I don’t think it’s anything major,” Suppiah told Golf Digest. “I’d say most likely it’s a muscular issue and here’s why: If you have a fused spine, different parts of the body suddenly have to pick up the slack for that lack of mobility, and those compensations can lead to issues in other places. And a neck issue is a real issue for a golfer. The head stays still for a good portion of the swing but not all of it. And when it does have to move, any pain or discomfort can really affect the golf swing.”
Tiger Woods Plans on Playing in THE PLAYERS & Masters
The Arnold Palmer Invitational has been a significant event for Woods throughout his career. The former Orlando resident has played well at Bay Hill and has been public about his commitment to the tournament, in part, because of his relationship with Palmer prior to his passing.
Woods was in contention in the 2018 Arnold Palmer Invitational, and it began a hot streak for Woods on his way to winning his first tournament in years at East Lake. All signs point to Woods playing in THE PLAYERS then a few weeks later at the Masters.
If Woods is forced to miss THE PLAYERS there would be cause for greater concern about the neck strain. Rory McIlroy noted to Golf.com that Woods received treatment at the WGC-Mexico Championship.
“I saw him in Mexico getting treatment before and after he played and he did have some tape on sort of his upper back, so he was dealing with it back then as well,” McIlroy said, per Golf.com. “I hope he’s OK.”