Tiger Woods withdraws from Arnold Palmer Invitational because of neck injury | TribLIVE.com
U.S./World Sports

Tiger Woods withdraws from Arnold Palmer Invitational because of neck injury

Tiger Woods hits the ball at hole No. 1 during the WGC-Mexico Championship at the Chapultepec Golf Club in Mexico City, Sunday, Feb. 24, 2019.

Tiger Woods is withdrawing from the Arnold Palmer Invitational due to a neck injury, delivering a big blow to the Orlando tournament that surged in popularity when he played last year.

Woods announced his decision Monday afternoon in two posts on his Twitter account.

“Unfortunately due to a neck strain that I’ve had for a few weeks, I’m forced to withdraw from the API,” Woods posted. “I’ve been receiving treatment, but it hasn’t improved enough to play. My lower back is fine, and I have no long-term concerns, and I hope to be ready for The Players.”

Woods had the chance to set a PGA record for most career wins at a tournament, racking up eight previous wins at Bay Hill Golf Club & Lodge throughout his career.

He shared a warm relationship with Arnold Palmer, the magnetic tournament host who personally invited top golfers to participate in the tournament up until his death. Since then, Woods has been among the stars who promised to keep supporting the tournament in honor of Palmer.

“I’d like to send my regrets to the Palmer family and the Orlando fans,” Woods posted. “Its connection to Arnold makes it one of my favorite tournaments and I’m disappointed to miss it.”

Woods proved he still has it last year at Bay Hill — as a player and a drawing card.

Woods was in contention on Sunday until some late miscues and Rory McIlroy’s back-nine blitzkrieg. But The Arnie might have been the biggest winner last March.

Woods’ first appearance at Bay Hill since 2013 generated record crowds and a massive spike in TV ratings. Ticket sales were up more than 50 percent from 2017. Every upgraded tournament pass, on-site parking pass and hospitality event sold out.

Meanwhile, Sunday’s final round earned a 3.2 rating and 5.0 million viewers on NBC, up 129 percent in ratings and 134 percent in viewership from last year (1.4, 2.1 million).

Tournament organizers will miss Woods, but the API will still feature an elite field.

Phil Mickelson, defending champion McIlroy, reigning U.S. Open and PGA Championship winner Brooks Koepka and world No. 1 Justin Rose are among 12 of the top 20 golfers in the world rankings expected in the 120-player field. Fan favorite Rickie Fowler, 2018 runner-up Bryson DeChambeau and 2017 winner Jason Day are other big names scheduled to play this week.

“We know Tiger would be here if he could and we look forward to having him return in the future,” Arnold Palmer Invitational Tournament Director Marci Doyle said. “We have a great field and we are looking forward to a tremendous week.”

Categories: Sports | US-World
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.