The 41-year-old confirmed the news a week after pulling out of the Dubai Desert Classic with the same injury. He said doctors told him to rest, and confirmed that he would not be taking part in the two PGA events later this month.
Woods wrote on his website: “My doctors have advised me not to play the next two weeks, to continue my treatment and to let my back calm down. This is not what I was hoping for or expecting. I am extremely disappointed to miss the Genesis Open, a tournament that benefits my foundation, and the Honda Classic, my hometown event. I would like to thank Genesis for their support, and I know we will have an outstanding week.”
The Genesis Open in Pacific Palisades, just outside LA, runs from 16 to 19 February. The Honda Classic in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, gets going a week later.
Woods, the 14-time major winner who has slipped to No674 in the world, said he would re-evalaute his schedule after his back is reassessed.
After a 15-month injury layoff, Woods returned at the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas in December. He played his first PGA tour event at the Farmers Insurance Open in San Diego in January, but missed the halfway cut. In Dubai last week, he withdrew before Friday’s round after shooting an opening-round 77 that hinted at wider troubles.
After his opening round in Dubai, Woods insisted his back was OK. “I wasn’t in pain at all,” he said. “I was just trying to hit shots and I wasn’t doing a very good job.”
But his manager, Mark Steinberg, said Woods had back spasms on Thursday night after dinner. Steinberg said: “Tiger went into a spasm in his lower back fairly late last night. [He] got treatment done early this morning for three and a half hours, but can’t get it out. He says it’s not the nerve, but back spasm, and he can’t get the spasms to calm down. He can move around, but he can’t make a full rotation in his swing.”
In a video released this week, Woods admitted he is resigned to a life of pain from multiple operations on his back and knee.
“I feel good, not great,” said Woods. “I don’t think I’ll ever feel great because it’s three back surgeries and four knee operations. I’m always going to be a little bit sore, that’s just the way it is. As long as I can function at a good enough level, I’m fine with that.”