Tiger Woods has oblique injury, withdraws from first round of FedEx playoffs

Tiger Woods has oblique injury, withdraws from first round of FedEx playoffs

Tiger Woods has oblique injury, withdraws from first round of FedEx playoffs

Players at The Northern Trust were forced to deal with significant wind gusts Friday afternoon at Liberty National Golf Club in Jersey City, but the tough conditions helped Troy Merritt card one of the wildest birdies of the season.

"It was a little bit stiff, but that's just the way it's going to be", Woods said of his swing.

Woods struggled to an opening four-over-par 75 on Thursday after restricting himself to chipping and putting on the back nine of Wednesday's pro-am due to stiffness in his back. It marked the first time he has withdrawn in the middle of a tournament since the Dubai Desert Classic in February 2017, two months before he underwent spinal fusion surgery. It was the last of four surgeries Woods has had on his back.

Woods is scheduled to play in next week's BMW Championship at Medinah and said, "Hopefully I can compete".

"It's still a little bit stiff, but that's just the way it's going to be", he told reporters after finishing almost last on a morning when Troy Merritt shot 62 to lead fellow American Dustin Johnson by one shot with half the field having completed their rounds.

"I just didn't play well".

His withdrawal Friday adds extra pressure on him in next week's BMW Championship in Chicago if, as he noted, he is able to compete there.

"He said it again the other day, this is the new normal". He's made the cut just twice in that time.

Steinberg said he would confer with Woods on Sunday and Monday to see how he is feeling and, if necessary, on Tuesday to make a decision about the BMW Championship.

Leading into the Northern Trust, an ailing Woods' had only played four tournaments since winning the Masters in April for his 15th major title.

But he hasn't been the same since.

He entered this week's event ranked 28th in the FedEx Cup rankings and is likely to miss the cut and fall out of the top 30. He also tied for 9th at The Memorial Tournament at Murifield Village. Tiger Woods returns to action alongside World Number 1 Brooks Koepka, Rory McIlroy and Matt Kuchar - the top three in the FedExCup standings.

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