Tiger Woods has withdrawn from the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines after suffering yet more back problems.
The former world number one and 14-time major was two over par through 11 holes when he shook hands with playing partners Rickie Folwer and Billy Horschel.
The early departure comes after he shot a career-worst 82 in the second round at Phoenix and is the eighth time he has been forced to withdraw from a tournament.
Whether or not Woods can recover from this latest set back quickly, his scheduling plans are already in tatters.
My glutes keep shutting off and that causes me pain in my back" He had hoped to play at Doral in the WGC-Cadillac Championship but after falling out of the World’s top 50 it’s highly unlikely he will qualify to play, regardless of the injury.
It will be interesting to see if we see him in action again before the Masters and his participation at Augusta must now also be seriously in doubt.
Woods appeared to be in pain after hitting his tee shot at the 12th – his third hole of the day – but carried on for eight more holes at Torrey Pines – a venue where he has won eight times.
Fowler and Horschel, both concerned by his physical state, helped him pick his ball out of holes.
In a brief word with reporters, Woods said his lower back got tight during a fog delay that suspended play for more than two hours.
“My glutes keep shutting off and that causes me pain in my back,” he said.
“It got worse as we stood waiting on the putting green during the delay and I tried warming up my glutes, but it just wasn’t working for me.
“When we went back out, it just got progressively worse.”
American Nicholas Thompson hit an eight-under-par round of 64, featuring seven birdies, an eagle, and a bogey, to take a one-stroke lead over compatriot Michael Thompson after the opening round.
England’s Ian Poulter is three shots behind the overnight leader, while 2013 Open champion Phil Mickelson was one over par through 15 holes when fog halted play for the day.
Could the golf ball be rolled back for everyone?