Tiger Woods withdrew from The Players Championship yesterday with an injury that he fears might be a bulging disc in his upper back. "I've been playing with a bad neck for about a month," Woods said. After hitting his drive well to the right on the seventh hole, Woods called for an official. He hit his second shot and grimaced, then walked to the middle of the fairway to shake hands with Jason Bohn, his playing partner, before leaving on a golf cart.
Woods had his head bowed for several minutes as he sat in front of his locker, and other times kept his eyes closed as if he were in the middle of a nap before answering questions from three reporters. "I've been playing through it," Woods said quietly. "I can't play through it anymore." He said he first felt the injury before the Masters and plans to have an MRI scan next week. He said he was having a hard time with the pain, and that there was a tingling sensation on his right side down to his fingers. As he was driven off in the cart, Woods continually squeezed his right hand and released his fingers.
"I might have a bulging disc," he said. Woods said he does not know what caused the injury, only that "playing doesn't help it". It is the first time he has withdrawn from a tournament since the Nissan Open at Riviera in 2006, when he narrowly made the cut and withdrew from the final two rounds because of flu. He also withdrew from the 1995 US Open at Shinnecock Hills as a 19-year-old amateur because of a wrist injury he sustained while hitting out of deep rough.