ORLANDO – AT 2:24 PM And on Monday, the world of golf shook.
Tiger Woods, who owned the Arnold Palmer Invitational since his domination in 2000, announced via Twitter that he was retiring from this week's tournament at Bay Hill Club & Lodge due to a tension in the neck.
Although there was a little comfort – he wrote that his surgically repaired lower back was correct and that there were no problems in the long run – he s " is a 43-year-old Tiger with a history of serious left knee and spine operations, we're re talking about.
Four left knee procedures. Four in his back, the most recent, a spinal fusion surgery in April 2017. He also had several other injuries to undergo over the years: neck, wrist, achilles.
Despite his assurances, the golf world will hold its breath until it is reviewed, perhaps in less than 10 days at The Players, the PGA Tour's flagship event.
"Unfortunately, because of a neck strain that I have been suffering for a few weeks, I am forced to withdraw from the API," Woods wrote. "I've been groomed, but things have not improved enough for me to play." My lower back suits me, I have no long-term concerns and I hope to be ready for The Players. "
Woods then wrote that he was sending his regrets to the Palmer family and Orlando fans, writing that it was one of his favorite tournaments.
There was a lot to digest in the two tweets that he sent, especially when he wrote that he was suffering from neck pain for a few weeks and that he was undergoing treatment. Although he's writing his back, that's fine, it's not a good sign.
During his last start, two weeks ago, at the WGC-Mexico Mexico City Championship, where he finished tied for 10th, there was no indication that his neck was obstructing him or any verbal sign (Woods refused to speak to media after the final). two towers).
Woods' pace is just as worrying. The best player of his generation has been talking for a long time about finding the rhythm of the season, especially for the big leagues. It's a certain pace that he covets, a favorite look for his game, a repetitive feeling for the club and his momentum he desires.
While the Masters is six weeks away from Magnolia, he is now concerned that the four-time Masters champion may be out of action by the time he spots the emerald fairways, white cottages and Georgia pines.
The world No. 12 player has only played three times this year. On his second start, the Genesis Open in Los Angeles became a disjointed affair because of the cold weather that delayed the rain and Woods did not play Thursday, he recorded 30 holes on Friday, 14 holes on Saturday and 28. Sunday.
The following week, in Mexico, he was struggling with the wind in the clouds – the course rests at 2400 meters above sea level – so little pace was built.
And now, he's no longer playing in a tournament, he has won a record eight times and is used as the optimal setting for the Masters.
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From the first time, Woods has gained confidence on the basis of Arnie Florida. As a skinny 15-year-old boy, he met Palmer for the first time a few days before the 1991 American Junior Amateur at Bay Hill.
Woods won the American Amateur Junior that year. In 2000, he won for the first time at Arnie's annual party, then again in 2001-03, 2008-09 and 2012-13 – each victory was punctuated by a warm handshake and a emphatic slaps in the back of the 47-year-old man. .
Now, instead of composing his swing and rhythm, Woods will be neat and will try to get ready for The Players. Without his development at Bay Hill, Woods has more than four tournaments to play before the Masters: The Players, the Valspar Championship, the WGC-Dell Technologies Play Match in Austin, Texas, and the Texas Open Valero. .
Woods never played the week before the Masters, so Valero probably came out. In addition, he rarely plays three times in a row. Therefore, if he plays The Players, one of the other two will be eliminated.
This is not the time that Woods had envisioned earlier this year during his ascent to the Masters. In his mind, there was some time that he wanted to follow. But a strain on his neck made him lose the key.