Tiger Woods has pulled out of The Northern Trust, the first Playoff event of the FedEx Cup, due to an oblique strain. The 43 year old was struggling during the pro-am earlier this week and looked uncomfortable during the first round, where he shot a four-over par score of 75.
"Due to a mild oblique strain that lead to pain and stiffness, I have to withdraw from the Northern Trust," said Woods. "I went for treatment early Friday morning, but unfortunately I am still unable to compete. I'd like to thank the New Jersey and New York fans for their support and I remain hopeful I can compete next week at the BMW Championship."
Prior to yesterday, Woods hadn't played a competitive round of golf since the Open Championship at Royal Portrush, where he failed to make the cut. The 15-time major champion admitted he can't work his body the way he used to and that he now has to be very selective of which events he plays in.
Before the Open, Woods hadn't played on the PGA Tour since the U.S Open, jumping from major to major, again due to his health. Woods has undergone four major back surgeries and many believed he would never return to form again.
Woods silenced the critics last year, winning the Tour Championship, the final event of the FedEx Cup and then winning the Masters in April, his 15th major title.
Before the start of The Northern Trust, Woods played nine holes as a practice round with Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka and Harold Varner, where he looked comfortable and flexible, but that all changed during the pro-am.
Woods started the pro-am in good condition, but spectators could see he was having some issues with his body once again and on the last nine holes, Woods didn't hit a single full swing and didn't even hit a shot on the 13th and the 15th.
Last week, Woods had tweeted his excitement to return to action for the first Playoff event of the FedEx Cup at Liberty National, but after a disappointing first round and a clear sign of discomfort, the two-time FedEx Cup winner has removed himself from the tournament.