• WGC-Bridgestone Invitational

Woods withdraws from Bridgestone in final round

August 3, 2014
Tiger Woods hit his drive on the ninth hole and then walked off the course. © Getty Images

Tiger Woods has withdrawn from the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational in the final round due to a back injury.

Woods hurt his back and withdrew after hitting his tee shot on the ninth hole.

Woods was in visible pain trying to pick up his tee and later at his car in the parking lot, where in brief remarks he said he "jarred it" when he jumped into a fairway bunker on the second hole trying to hit a shot after an awkward stance.

The 14-time major winner was in distress at his car as he attempted to take off his golf shoes and change into tennis shoes. He could barely stand, bracing himself at the back of the vehicle, unable to tie his shoes.

"It happened on the second hole when I hit my second shot, I fell back into the bunker," Woods said. "I just jarred it, and it's been spasming ever since."

The stance outside of the bunker was an awkward one, as he basically swung off his right leg - the ball too close to the bunker to take a regular stance. He fell back into the steep bunker and then ran to the bottom, and while he didn't show much discomfort at the time, his caddie, Joe LaCava, said Woods was hurting the rest of the way.

"He did a good job of masking it," LaCava said.

Woods hit several poor shots at the fifth, sixth and seventh holes, playing them in three over. He parred the eighth, then hit a 315-yard drive at the ninth but could barely bend over to pick up his tee. He then summoned a golf car and had difficulty sitting in it.

Woods had surgery on March 31 to alleviate a pinched nerve in his back following just four tournaments in 2014. He withdrew from the Honda Classic during the final round and then played the WGC-Cadillac Championship the next week, shooting a third-round 66 but finding himself in distress during a final-round 78.

In several interviews since the surgery, Woods said that the pain he felt in his back prior to the surgery left him wondering about his future in golf.

"I couldn't get out of bed," he said.

That pain went away following the surgery called a microdiscectomy, Woods said, and he had reported no issues with his back until Sunday.

Woods returned earlier than expected in June at the Quicken Loans National at Congressional Country Club, where he missed the cut. After an opening-round 69 at the Open Championship, Woods faltered and finished 69th, his worst 72-hole finish in a major as a pro.

This was his third tournament back on a Firestone Country Club course where he has won eight times. He opened the tournament with a 68 but got progressively worse and was three-over par for his round when he withdrew on Sunday.

"It's just the whole lower back, I don't know what happened," he said.

Woods' status for the PGA Championship this week in Louisville, in which he is scheduled to play, is unclear.

"I don't know," he said. "Just trying to get out of here."

Woods said he tried to play through it but the pain got progressively worse.

This article first appeared on ESPN.com

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