Tiger Woods Still Not Sure Back Will Be Ready

Two weeks from the start of the Masters Tournament and Tiger Woods says his back is still not strong enough for him to commit to being at the No. 1 tee box on April 10.Woods pulled out of Arnold Palmer’s tournament last week, citing back pain. He had withdrawn from his previous event two weeks before that because of back troubles.“For Augusta, it’s actually still a little too soon, to be honest with you,” Woods said Monday at a news conference to announce that Quicken Loans is the new title sponsor of his golf tournament. “That’s kind of the frustrating thing about this.”Woods, 38, has never missed the Masters in his illustrious 18-year career. He’s won four green jackets that come with claiming the season’s first major tournament, at Augusta National.  It was there in 1997 where he captured his first major. His last time winning the Masters was 2005.Never has Woods gotten off to a worse start to a season. He stopped playing in the final round at the Honda Classic on March 2 because of what he called back spasms and pain in his lower back. He tried to defend his title the following week at Doral, only for his back to flare up again in the final round, when he shot a 78, the highest Sunday score of his PGA Tour career and his first closing round without a birdie.Then last week, Woods withdrew from the Arnold Palmer Invitational because of persistent back pain.“I’ve had a couple weeks off and getting treatment and just working on trying to get ready for Augusta,” Woods said Monday. “As of right now, it’s still too soon, which is, as I said, pretty frustrating.”This isn’t the first year Woods has claimed back troubles.  At Bethpage Black at The Barclays in 2012, his back pain flared up. He said the issue was a soft bed. He said he felt twinges during the final round of the PGA Championship last year, and when his back bothered him in the final round of The Barclays two weeks later, he said it was unrelated.

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