Tiger Woods withdraws from Northern Trust in ominous sign

Tiger Woods and Thongchai Jaidee of Thailand sit on a bench in the 17th tee box during the fourth round of the Memorial golf tournament at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin Ohio. Woods has had a profound eff

Golf-Woods near last after opening 75 at Northern Trust

Tiger Woods was forced to withdraw from The Northern Trust Open due to pain and stiffness from a mild oblique strain, he said in a statement Friday.

Woods, in contrast, could barely have made a worse start, four over after nine holes, before somewhat steadying the ship on the back nine. But he has said on numerous occasions that although his spine is fused, the "force has to go somewhere", and that it leads to some other issues he has experienced.

Woods said in his statement that he's hopeful he can play next week at the BMW Championship, but oblique strains - even mild ones - can keep athletes out of commission for weeks at a time. "My iron game, which is usually the strongest part of my game, was off.my distance control was off".

Woods, who is ranked fifth in the world thanks to his 15th major victory in the Masters in April, was 27th in the FedEx Cup point standings at the start of the week, but will fall out of the top 30 after this week. If he is able to play next week, he would need a decent result to qualify for the Tour Championship, where the final FedEx Cup playoff event begins on August 22.

"It just feels frustrating to shoot anything high no matter how I feel".

It concludes in two weeks with the Tour Championship, which Woods won a year ago by two shots.

The former world No.1 missed the cut in the PGA Championship, tied ninth at the Memorial tournament, was tied 21st in the US Open and failed to make the weekend at the Open. "We had the flawless greens and had to go out there and shoot something under-par and get it going".

"I actually hit it into sixth fairway and it worked out fine and I ended up making birdie", he said. Had to be 4-, 5-, 6-under par today.

"It gives you confidence the rest of the day and they just kept going in".

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