Tiger Woods withdraws on PGA Tour return due to illness

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Tiger Woods withdrew due to illness during the second round on his PGA Tour return at the Genesis Invitational.

Woods, 48, who hosts the tournament at the Riviera Country Club, was driven off the course on a cart shortly after teeing off on the seventh hole.

The 15-time major champion had not appeared on the PGA Tour since having to pull out of the Masters last April with an injury in the third round.

Woods was two over par in California this week before withdrawing.

The American, who remains golf’s biggest draw, made five birdies and six bogeys during an eventful one-over-par 72 in Thursday’s opening round.

He began Friday, with a nod to the past, sporting a red, navy and white striped polo resembling the shirt he wore on his PGA Tour debut at the venue as a 16-year-old in 1992.

However, after opening his second round with a birdie at the par-five first hole he dropped shots at the fourth and fifth and would probably have been battling to make the cut had he been able to continue.

Woods, who feared his leg would have to be amputated because of the serious injuries he suffered in a car accident in Los Angeles in February 2021, is still adapting to ankle fusion surgery.

He underwent that treatment in April last year after withdrawing at the Augusta National.

He told reporters on Thursday that he had been suffering with back spasms along with soreness in his surgically repaired leg after uncharacteristically shanking an approach on the 18th.

Speaking on the Golf Channel, rules official Mark Dusbabek said Woods’ withdrawal was unrelated to those long-standing issues.

Woods has played just nine official events in the last four seasons. He has missed the cut twice and withdrawn three times.

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