Tiger Woods has won the Arnold Palmer Invitational eight times in his career. Victory No.9 won’t be coming this week.
Overnight, Woods announced on Twitter that he is withdrawing from the Bay Hill event, as the 14-time Major winner is dealing with a neck issue.
“Unfortunately due to a neck strain that I’ve had for a few weeks, I’m forced to withdraw from the API,” Woods wrote. “I’ve been receiving treatment, but it hasn’t improved enough to play. My lower back is fine, and I have no long-term concerns, and I hope to be ready for the Players.
“I’d like to send my regrets to the Palmer family and the Orlando fans. Its connection to Arnold makes it one of my favorite tournaments and I’m disappointed to miss it.”
Woods dealt with a similar strain last year at the Open Championship, showing up for his first round with KT Tape on his neck. It proved not to be much of a hinderance at Carnoustie, as Woods flirted with the claret jug before ultimately finishing T-6.
Woods was listed as one of the tournament favourites at 9-1 odds; only Rory McIlroy (8-1) had a lower figure. It marks his first withdraw since exiting the 2017 Dubai Desert Classic with back spasms.
Since returning from his fourth back procedure at the Hero World Challenge in December 2017, Woods has not suffered any serious injury setbacks. In three appearances this year, Woods had posted finishes of T-20 at Torrey Pines, T-15 at Riviera and T-10 at Chapultepec.
At last year’s API, Woods made a Sunday charge before an out-of-bounds drive on the 16th submarined his chances.
With the WD, Woods will now miss the API for the fifth time in the past six seasons.
The Players Championship is next week. Woods has won the tour’s flagship event twice, the most recent victory coming in 2013.