When you were all sleeping early this morning, halfway across the world, Tiger Woods withdrew from the second round of the Dubai Desert Classic. Tiger’s agent Mark Steinberg was quick to clarify that the injury was not related to the 3 nerve related operations on Tiger’s back. Steinberg said it was general back spasms, which Woods first sustained late after his first round of play.
During Tiger's first round, he struggled to a 5-over par, 77. From his first shot, many began to question Tiger’s health. Tiger’s swing was not as explosive as when he played in the Bahamas, and Tiger was walking very timidly and appeared to be wincing in pain.
Tiger was paid a lot of money in appearance fees to tee it up in Dubai. Some have began to speculate that Tiger did not seem interested in playing in Dubai. First off, Tiger flew commercially 11 hours to the UAE. Tiger has not done something like this in 10 years. Moral of the story: Tiger was tired and unmotivated. I believe it is reasonable to question Tiger’s intentions about even playing in Dubai in the first place.
Moving forward, since Tiger’s agent says the injury is “only spasms,” I expect to see Tiger in 2 weeks in Los Angeles. The Genesis Open benefits the Tiger Woods Foundation, so Tiger will really want to tee it up at Riviera.
Just consider this a minor set up on a major comeback.
For more news like this, check out Pete’s take on Tiger’s career moving forward.