Tiger Woods announced Friday he won't be able to participate in the Genesis Open or the Honda Classic as previously scheduled because of lingering back spasms. The injury caused him to withdraw from his last start, the Omega Dubai Desert Classic, last week.
The 14-time major champion provided a statement to his official website about the decision, which comes at the recommendation of his medical team.
"My doctors have advised me not to play the next two weeks, to continue my treatment and to let my back calm down," Woods said. "This is not what I was hoping for or expecting. I am extremely disappointed to miss the Genesis Open, a tournament that benefits my foundation, and the Honda Classic, my hometown event. I would like to thank Genesis for their support, and I know we will have an outstanding week."
Woods didn't include a timetable for his next return to competitive golf. His appearance at the Farmers Insurance Open in late January, which resulted in a missed cut, marked his first start on the PGA Tour since August 2015 due to back problems.
Removing himself from his next two events doesn't come as a surprise given the way he gingerly walked around Emirates Golf Club in Dubai. He posted a first-round 77 before pulling out of the tournament prior to the start of Round 2.
His latest back issues do raise further questions about his decision to make the long plane ride to the United Arab Emirates for the European Tour event. That doesn't mean he wouldn't have faced health trouble if he stayed home, but the trip felt like an unnecessary risk.
Although he didn't play well in the Farmers Insurance Open, he made it through the two rounds without any noticeable tweaks or twinges. That wasn't the case during the lucrative Dubai event.
Unfortunately, trying to fight through back problems might be the new normal for the 41-year-old California native. Rob Hodgetts of CNN passed along comments the Stanford product made during an interview with Vision Magazine in Dubai.
"I feel good, not great. I don't think I will ever feel great because it's three back surgeries, four knee operations," Woods said. "I'm always going to be a little bit sore. As long as I can function, I'm fine with that."
Whether he can play enough golf to make himself a weekend contender at majors is up for debate, especially given that resignation in terms of his health status. But every setback makes it less likely "Old Tiger" ever shows up on golf's biggest stages again.
Friday's news means Woods will be sidelined through at least the end of February. There are six PGA Tour events available between early March and the Masters, which starts April 6. That includes the Arnold Palmer Invitational, a tournament he's won eight times, in mid-March.
Barring further back spasms, the longtime top-ranked golfer in the world—he's currently ranked No. 674—may use the next five weeks to get healthy before playing that event at Bay Hill as his only warm-up tournament before the Masters, giving him a couple of weeks to rest.