Neck strain forces Tiger Woods out of Arnold Palmer Invitational tournament

Neck strain forces Tiger Woods out of Arnold Palmer Invitational tournament

Woods announced his decision Monday afternoon in two posts on his Twitter account. The 14-time major victor finished tied for 10th at the 2019 World Golf Championships-Mexico Championship on February 24 in Mexico City.

Woods added that his lower back is fine, and he's not concerned about the injury long term.

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.

The injury is the first setback for Woods since he returned to regularly competing on the PGA Tour in January 2018, which marked the start of a remarkable comeback campaign he capped with a win in the Tour Championship season finale. The 43-year-old golfer added that he plans to play in The Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass, which runs March 12 to 17.

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Woods has won the Arnold Palmer Invitational eight times during his storied career. If Woods is able to play in next week's Players Championship (and he is sure to do everything he can to play), then that leaves only two more realistic tournaments to play before the Masters in early April.

Woods last played at the WGC-Mexico Championship from February 21-24, tying for 10th place.

Rory McIlroy returns to Bay Hill to defend his title, and he'll play the first two rounds alongside another former victor and the reigning Masters champ. "It's connection to Arnold makes it one of my favourite tournaments and I'm disappointed to miss it".

Woods (69) tied for 10th, 13 shots behind Johnson. He'll play the first two rounds with Day, who was the last player to win this event before Palmer's passing in 2016, and Poulter, an Orlando resident who has finished T-6 or better in each of his last four worldwide starts.

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