Tiger Woods withdraws from Arnold Palmer Invitational

Mar 18 2018 Orlando FL USA Tiger Woods gets ready to tee off on the first hole during the final round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational golf tournament at Bay Hill Club & Lodge. Mandatory Credit Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Mar 18 2018 Orlando FL USA Tiger Woods gets ready to tee off on the first hole during the final round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational golf tournament at Bay Hill Club & Lodge. Mandatory Credit Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Eight-times champion Tiger Woods has withdrawn from this week's Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill in Orlando due to a neck strain, the former world number one said on Monday.

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Ranked 12th in the world, Woods will have to make a speedy recovery if he is to play in The Players Championship, which begins March 14 in Ponte Vedra, Fla.

"Unfortunately due to a neck strain that I've had for a few weeks, I'm forced to withdraw from the API", Woods tweeted.

Woods says he's had the neck strain for a few weeks and it hasn't improved with treatment to the point he feels he can play.

"2) I'd like to send my regrets to the Palmer family and the Orlando fans".

In his only other starts this year, Woods finished in a share of 20th place at the Farmers Insurance Open in late January followed by a T15 at the Genesis Open in mid-February.

Before undergoing his fourth back surgery in April 2017, Woods suffered from discomfort so severe that he needed help getting out of bed for months.

Woods has played three times this year, with his best finish a tie for 10th in Mexico City.

"And there were some days where you'd help me and I couldn't stand up", he continued.

Woods, 43, has had a long history of injuries, most recently coming back from a spinal fusion in his lower back.

Woods won his 80th PGA title, and his first for five years, when sealing the season-ending Tour Championship in September 2018. Any injury to the 80-time PGA Tour victor is sure to cause concern as his return has been a major boost to television ratings and media interest.

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