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Woods place at Doral in doubt

Bob Harig
March 4, 2014 « 'Bad idea' for Cavani to join United or Chelsea | Chartbeat test »
Bob Harig discusses Tiger Woods' immediate future

Tiger Woods' status for this week's WGC-Cadillac Championship at Doral is uncertain after he withdrew from the Honda Classic on Sunday because of back spasms.

Woods' agent, Mark Steinberg, said on Monday that the world No.1 would not be at Doral on Tuesday, when he was scheduled to be part of a pre-tournament news conference and play a practice round on the newly renovated Blue Monster course.

Woods has not seen the course since significant changes were made shortly after he won last year's event, his fourth victory at the layout.

Of more immediate concern is his recovery from back spasms that saw him withdraw during the final round after playing 13 holes Sunday at PGA National, where Russell Henley won in a sudden-death play-off. Woods was 5-over par at the time, a day after shooting a season-best 65.

He began feeling discomfort in his lower back during a pre-round practice range session, and it became pronounced by the ninth hole as he favoured his back after his tee shot and again when trying to take his ball out of the cup.

Later, Woods described the back spasms as similar to what he experienced at the Barclays in August, when he finished tied for second but struggled in his next three events over the following month.

Steinberg said in a text message that Woods is "receiving treatment" and would be evaluated each day but that his status is "up in the air".

The WGC-Cadillac Championship is a $9 million event with no 36-hole cut. Barring withdrawals, it is scheduled to have each of the top 50 players in the Official World Golf Ranking.

And there could yet be more bad news for Woods, who could lose his No.1 ranking to Masters champion Adam Scott.

Tiger Woods loads up his car after withdrawing from the Honda Classic © AP
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Bob Harig is a senior golf writer for ESPN.com

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