Tiger Woods' season took another major hit Sunday in the final round of the 2014 Bridgestone Invitational as the star golfer bowed out of the proceedings on the ninth hole due to a back injury.
PGA Tour broke the news:
It also shared the video of the injury:
Woods entered the day tied for 37th and 16 shots off the leader, Sergio Garcia, at one over par. As is to be expected with the sport's most important player, the media chronicled Woods' departure from Firestone Country Club:
Tiger Woods in parking lot after withdrawing from Bridgestone Invitational http://t.co/XXwnwow6LO— Marla Ridenour (@MRidenourABJ) August 3, 2014
ESPN Stats & Info broke down his day before the unfortunate turn of events:
Tiger Woods said he was injured on the 2nd hole today. He played the first 2 holes at -1, but was +4 the rest of the day before withdrawing.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) August 3, 2014
Woods himself explained the issue to Golf Channel's Jason Sobel before his exit:
Tiger on whether this is the same injury: "It's just the whole lower back. I don't know what happened."— Jason Sobel (@JasonSobelGC) August 3, 2014
Tiger: "Happened on the second hole when I hit my second shot. I fell back into the bunker. Just jarred it. It's been spasming ever since."— Jason Sobel (@JasonSobelGC) August 3, 2014
Perhaps Woods was being a bit reserved in his effort to rush out of the area, but the first-hand reviews from those in attendance are not encouraging, to say the least.
GC Tiger Tracker had eyes at the scene after the tee shot on No. 9:
FWIW, he looked to be in much more pain than when he WD'd at Honda in March.— GC Tiger Tracker (@GCTigerTracker) August 3, 2014
As Woods was packing the vehicle, Iain Carter of BBC Golf illustrated a chilling scene:
Tiger could barely get shoes on before being driven away. Season could be over.— Iain Carter (@iaincartergolf) August 3, 2014
Grant Traylor of The Herald Dispatch shared his reaction to the news:
Not good hearing that Tiger had to WD due to back. Absolutely needed for golf to thrive again. Sport loses a little flair without him there.— Grant Traylor (@GrantTraylor) August 3, 2014
As far as Woods' immediate future is concerned, many—such as Doug Ferguson of the Associated Press and Jonathan Wall of the PGA Tour—seem to think this is the end of his season:
Tiger done at firestone with back pain. Would think he's done for the year. But we'll see.— Doug Ferguson (@dougferguson405) August 3, 2014
See you in 2015, Tiger.— Jonathan Wall (@jonathanrwall) August 3, 2014
Of course, Woods himself shied away from any such questions, but especially those pertaining to the upcoming PGA Championship:
Tiger on what this means for the upcoming PGA Championship: "I don't know. Just trying to get out of here."— Jason Sobel (@JasonSobelGC) August 3, 2014
With the 96th PGA Championship beginning in Louisville Thursday, fans will know soon whether or not Woods is healthy enough to give it a go. They have to be hopeful considering Tiger has also missed the Masters and U.S. Open this year.
CBS47's Brent Martineau had a reaction to the news that likely spoke for a majority of the fans around the globe:
I'm not handling the downfall of Tiger Woods very well. #denial— Brent Martineau (@BrentAS360) August 3, 2014
But perhaps the focal point of this recurring issue that has sidelined the 38-year-old superstar for much of this year should be on his long-term fortunes, as Golf Channel's Kelly Tilghman points out:
People will speculate about Tiger Woods' playing this yr's PGA, Fed Ex & Ryder Cup. We should probably be more concerned with his career.— Kelly Tilghman (@KellyTilghmanGC) August 3, 2014
We will have a verdict on the event in Louisville soon, but given the year so far for Woods, a spot on the Ryder Cup team is very much in the air. As far as that goes, Ferguson points out that the team has now potentially lost two critical pieces when one recalls the issues surrounding Dustin Johnson:
Would seem that in one week, the U.S. loses Dustin and Tiger from its Ryder Cup team.— Doug Ferguson (@dougferguson405) August 3, 2014
Until more details are known, the world of sports once again awaits the return of Woods with crossed fingers and toes—much as it did just a few weeks ago.