Skip to main content
Part of complete coverage on

Can Tiger Woods master back injury before Augusta?

By Matthew Knight, CNN
March 11, 2014 -- Updated 0020 GMT (0820 HKT)
Tiger Woods grimaces during the final round of he WGC Cadillac Championship on Sunday.
Tiger Woods grimaces during the final round of he WGC Cadillac Championship on Sunday.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Tiger Woods struggles with back spasms for second consecutive tournament
  • Woods followed superb round of 66 on Saturday with a 78 in final round
  • World No. 1 will be hunting a fifth green jacket at Augusta National in April

Follow us at @WorldSportCNN and like us on Facebook

(CNN) -- He's used to holding trophies aloft on Sundays but all Tiger Woods is clutching at the moment is his back.

For the second week running the world No. 1 has been beaten by back spasms, sparking concern over his ability to mount a serious challenge at the Masters which gets underway on April 10.

After pulling out during the final round of the Honda Classic at PGA National, Woods challenge at the WGC Cadillac Championship was blunted by spasms which started after hitting a ball from an awkward stance in fairway bunker at the par four sixth at Doral's Blue Monster course.

"That's what set it off and then it was done after that," Woods said following a frustrating round, PGATour.com reported.

"Just (tried to) see if I could actually manage through to keep the spasms at bay. But anything in the flexion was done, so the deeper the flexion, the worse it felt."

Woods ended up posting a six-over par 78 to finish tied for 25th after playing his way back in contention for the lead with a superb round of 66 on Saturday.

Patrick Reed becomes to the youngest WGC winner
Golf mythbusters: Spinning with the wedge
ASU's life lessons for budding golfers

"If I feel good, I can actually make a pretty decent swing," Woods said. "You saw it (on Saturday). But if I'm feeling like this, it's a little tough."

Read more: Reed re-writes WGC history

Woods has endured a string of injuries in recent years including ligament damage in his left knee and a ruptured Achilles tendon in his right ankle.

His current back problems first emerged during the final round of The Barclays tournament last August -- a complaint he put down to a soft mattress in a hotel room.

The 14-time major champion now has 10 days off before his next scheduled event -- the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill in Orlando, Florida which starts on March 20.

"If it flares up, it flares up," Woods said. "It's just a matter of keeping it calm, and we had a quick turnaround here from last week. It would be nice to have a week off where I can shut it down and get some treatment."

Twelve months ago, Woods won the tournament to regain the world No. 1 spot before heading onto Augusta where he finished tied for fourth for the third time in four seasons.

He will not need reminding that he last won the Masters way back in 2005 and hasn't won a major of any description since the U.S. Open in 2008. As the 38-year-old noted in January, time may not be on his side, but his desire remains undimmed.

"Looking back from the beginning of my career to now, I know that I don't have 20 years in my prime," Woods said.

"I don't see being 58 and being in my prime. Most guys don't jump from the foul line at age 58, so it's a little different but the outlook is still the same.

"I still prepare the same, I still work my tail off to be ready to compete at this level and beat everything that I'm playing against."

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
August 8, 2014 -- Updated 1424 GMT (2224 HKT)
From Seve's "spine-shivering" moment to Jack Nicklaus' "perfect explosion," David Cannon has captured many of golf's defining images.
August 7, 2014 -- Updated 1320 GMT (2120 HKT)
They came home as casualties of war -- physically shattered and mentally broken. But golf is proving to be an unlikely salvation for U.S. veterans.
August 5, 2014 -- Updated 1231 GMT (2031 HKT)
You are the one hitting the shots, but the man standing over your shoulder could hold the key to your golfing destiny.
July 21, 2014 -- Updated 1227 GMT (2027 HKT)
PINEHURST, NC - JUNE 10: Rory McIlroy (R) of Northern Ireland talks with his dad Gerry McIlroy (L) during a practice round prior to the start of the 114th U.S. Open at Pinehurst Resort & Country Club, Course No. 2 on June 10, 2014 in Pinehurst, North Carolina. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
He has been there for all three of his son's major wins, but the latest triumph may well have been the sweetest yet for Rory McIlroy's father.
July 9, 2014 -- Updated 1218 GMT (2018 HKT)
The next generation of golfers just keeps on getting younger. "They have the confidence to perform against their idols," says one ex-prodigy.
July 1, 2014 -- Updated 1159 GMT (1959 HKT)
He was Spain's ultimate matador and golf's greatest escape artist.
June 18, 2014 -- Updated 1536 GMT (2336 HKT)
Rory McIlroy has announced he wants to represent Ireland at the Rio Olympics in 2016.
Two-time major champion Rory McIlroy declares he'll represent Ireland at the Rio Olympics, not Great Britain.
April 29, 2014 -- Updated 0248 GMT (1048 HKT)
Already admired by Annika Sorenstam and with a bucketful of talent, New Zealand's Lydia Ko has the world of golf at her feet.
April 28, 2014 -- Updated 1130 GMT (1930 HKT)
Mike O'Connor, UK FootGolf
Like footie? Partial to a bit of golf? Then you'll love FootGolf. The sport's growing fan base includes a host of former English Premier League stars.
April 24, 2014 -- Updated 1343 GMT (2143 HKT)
Golfers at at Barkway Park don't seem to concerned and have been taking pictures and videos of the bird when it appears on the greens and fairways.
A runaway ostrich-like bird hiding near an English golf course has caused quite a stir. Some say it's dangerous, while others are cashing in.
April 22, 2014 -- Updated 1238 GMT (2038 HKT)
Eagles may be thin on the ground for most golfers at the Bear Trace course at Harrison Bay. But up in the treetops, it's a different matter.
April 18, 2014 -- Updated 1754 GMT (0154 HKT)
When someone tells you to go jump in a lake, sometimes it's best to take their advice. "I've never been so scared," says golfer Pablo Larrazabal.
ADVERTISEMENT