Tiger Woods abruptly withdraws from Genesis Invitational

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Tiger Woods speaks with reporters on Wednesday at the 2024 Genesis Invitational. — PGA Tour
Tiger Woods speaks with reporters on Wednesday at the 2024 Genesis Invitational. — PGA Tour

Golf icon Tiger Woods withdrew from the second round of The Genesis Invitational at Riviera on Friday, citing illness. 

This marks the end of Woods' first PGA Tour appearance since the April 2023 Masters, adding a layer of uncertainty to his return to competitive golf.

Tiger Woods, a 15-times major champion and the host of the tournament struggled through the opening six holes, managing to stay just one over par. As he teed off at the par-four seventh hole, the 48-year-old golfer made the decision to withdraw, visibly distressed and with his head buried in his hands. A rules official escorted Woods away from the course.

The golf legend faced challenges in Thursday's first round, finishing eight shots behind the leader and sharing 49th place with a one-over-par 72. Back spasms plagued him during the initial round, a factor he attributed to a rare shank on his approach shot at the final hole. 

The recurring back issues have been a concern for Woods, impacting his recent performances on the course.

This abrupt exit comes after Woods made the cut at the 2023 Masters but withdrew before completing the third round due to plantar fasciitis. Subsequently, he underwent ankle surgery later that month, marking another chapter in his ongoing battle with injuries.

Woods made his return to professional golf in November, participating in the unofficial PGA Tour event, the Hero World Challenge, featuring a limited field and no cut. Following that, he teamed up with his son Charlie at the PNC Championship, a 36-hole event pairing major champions with family members.