Tiger Woods’s Early Exit From Genesis Adds to List of Withdrawals

Since 2014 the Hall of Famer’s various ailments have resulted in a high number of early departures from tournaments.

 

Tiger Woods’s departure on a golf cart on Friday at the Genesis Invitational was but a somber reminder of how often that scene has played out over the past decade.

 

And it again puts in perspective what he was able to accomplish in a small window back in 2018-19 and just how daunting the task is now at age 48.

 

Woods withdrew from the tournament after hitting his tee shot on the 7th hole at Riviera Country Club. There were immediately concerns that it had something to do with his back—which has endured five procedures—or maybe his leg, ankle or foot, which were severely injured in a car crash three years ago.

 

Tiger Woods withdrew Friday from the Genesis Invitational, his eighth withdrawal in the last 10 years. 

 

It was later reported that Woods was ill, that he had flu-like symptoms, and there were signs that it was the case. It was still a bit jarring to see him exit with holes remaining, something that has occurred with frequency going back to 2014.

 

That was when the first signs of distress were signaled. Here’s a list of Woods’s withdrawals over the past 10 years.

 

2014 Honda Classic: Woods was in the final round of the tournament when he withdrew citing back pain. He played a week later but showed obvious distress in the final round of the WGC-Cadillac Championship, where he was in contention after a third-round 66 but shot 78 the following day. (Patrick Reed was the winner and uttered his infamous “top 5” player in the world comment). Those issues led to his first microdiscectomy on March 31 of that year, causing him to miss the Masters for the first time as a pro.2014 WGC-Bridgestone Invitational: After returning in June at the Quicken Loans National from the microdiscectomy, and playing in the British Open where he finished 69th, Woods was again in the final round of a tournament when he summoned officials playing the 9th hole at Firestone Country Club. In obvious pain, he was carted to the parking lot. He attempted to play the following week at the PGA Championship, where he missed the cut, and didn’t return again until the Hero World Challenge in December.2015 Farmers Insurance Open: It was a disastrous start to the year for Woods, who showed a shocking inability to chip the ball. He missed the cut at the WM Phoenix Open after a second round that saw him shoot 82, failing to break 80 for just the second time in his pro career. He tried to play the Farmers Insurance Open the following week and withdrew during the first round. He took nine weeks off prior to returning for the Masters.2017 Dubai Desert Classic: Woods had two microdiscectomies just six weeks apart in fall 2015 and didn’t play an official event in all of 2016. He returned for the Hero World Challenge in December and seemed intent on an ambitious schedule in 2017, only to be derailed two events in. He had traveled all the way to Dubai, only to withdraw with back spasms prior to the second round. He ended up having spinal fusion surgery in April.2019 Northern Trust: Over the previous year, Woods had won the Tour Championship and the Masters in the aftermath of an amazing comeback from the spinal fusion surgery in 2017. But following his Masters triumph, Woods never seemed right. He played just six times, with a tie for ninth at the Memorial, before withdrawing at the FedEx Cup playoff event with an oblique injury. He played the following week at the BMW Championship but didn’t qualify for the Tour Championship. He ended up having knee surgery soon after, which was blamed for a good bit of his summer woes. Then, he amazingly came back to win in his first start back at the Zozo Championship, tying Sam Snead’s PGA Tour record of 82 wins.2022 PGA Championship: In his second start after returning from the car crash, Woods again made the cut—he had done so at the Masters—but withdrew after struggling during the third round. It was later disclosed that a screw in his ankle or foot had become loose. He had an undisclosed procedure soon after.2023 Masters: After making the cut at Augusta National for the 23rd straight time, Woods couldn’t make it through a weather-interrupted third round and withdrew. A few weeks later he had ankle surgery, a subtalar fusion.2024 Genesis Invitational: In his first start of the year, Woods withdrew just six holes into the second round at Riviera Country Club. Although it was feared his issue was related to his various injuries, especially his back, Woods announced that he had the flu.

 

Bob Harig is a golf writer for SI.com and the author of the book “DRIVE: The Lasting Legacy of Tiger Woods,” which publishes in March and can be ordered here. 

 

 

Gideon Canice

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