PGA Tour

Woods quits with sore back

 Tiger Woods (AFP)
Tiger Woods (AFP)

Palmj Beach Gardens - World number one Tiger Woods withdrew from the final round of the Honda Classic on Sunday citing a sore back.

A day after shooting his lowest score of the year - a third-round 65 at the par-70 PGA National - Woods was five-over for the day through 13 holes of the final round when he pulled out, shaking hands with his playing partners on the 13th green before unceremoniously departing.

The 14-time major champion had parred his last four holes, the 10th through 13th, but he was nine over on the front nine, including a double-bogey seven at the reachable par-five third hole where he was in the water.

He made three more bogeys over his next six holes.

"I kind of noticed that he wasn't feeling the greatest," playing partner Luke Guthrie said.

"I noticed he was starting to kind of gingerly tee up the ball and pick up the ball out of the hole and stuff."

With less than six weeks to go until the first major of the year, the Masters at Augusta National April 10-13, it was another disappointment for Woods, whose 2014 campaign has gotten off to a stuttering start with a missed secondary cut at Torrey Pines and a shared 41st place at Dubai.

He just made the Honda Classic cut on the number, but had seemed to find something in his game on Saturday with a round that included seven birdies and two bogeys.

Woods is scheduled to tee it up on Thursday in the World Golf Championships Cadillac Championship at Doral, where he is the defending champion.

He said through a spokesman that it was "too early to tell" if he would be able to defend his title there.

Woods added in his statement that his back flared up when he was warming up on Sunday, and the problem was similar to the back spasms that he battled en route to a runner-up finish at The Barclays last August.

It's the seventh time in Woods' career and fourth time in the last five years that he has withdrawn from a tournament.

The most recent instance was in the final round of Doral in 2012, where he withdrew after 12 holes with an Achilles injury.

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