Tiger Woods withdraws from Northern Trust with oblique strain

Tiger Woods has withdrawn from the Northern Trust due to an oblique strain, the 2019 Masters champion confirmed on Friday.

Woods carded a dismal four-over 75 in the opening round of the first tournament of the FedExCup playoffs at Liberty National on Thursday.

However, the 43-year-old will now have to focus on recovering for the upcoming BMW Championship after he was ruled out of the rest of the competition.

“I went for treatment early Friday morning, but unfortunately I’m still unable to compete,” Woods said in a statement distributed by the PGA Tour.

“I’d like to thank the New Jersey and New York fans for their support and remain hopeful I can compete next week at the BMW Championship.”

Woods has a history of back problems that he has previously described as his “new normal”.

Looking out of sorts during most of Thursday’s round played under ideal scoring conditions, Woods found himself in trouble after ballooning to four over par from the first nine holes.

At one point late in his round, Woods found himself at T-58 among 58 golfers on the course.

“I knew today we had the perfect greens and I needed to shoot something under, but I went the wrong way,” he said after his round.

The tournament was Woods’ first start since he missed the cut last month at the British Open at Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland, where he said he was hampered by the cold and damp conditions.

Woods’ withdrawal adds extra pressure on him heading into next week’s BMW Championship in Chicago, if he is able to compete.

He entered the Northern Trust at No. 28 on the FedExCup points list. He is assured of a spot in the BMW, which is for the top 70 players in the points standings.

However, he likely now needs a strong finish at Medinah Country Club to assure himself a shot at defending his 2018 victory in the season-ending Tour Championship, limited to the top 30 in FedExCup points.