Woods' back still stiff, will skip Palmer Invitational: agent

FILE PHOTO: February 14, 2020; Pacific Palisades, California, USA; Tiger Woods hits out of the fourteenth hole bunker during the second round of the The Genesis Invitational golf tournament at Riviera Country Club. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

(Reuters) - Tiger Woods’ back remains stiff and he will not play in next week’s Arnold Palmer Invitational in Florida where he has won eight times, his agent said on Friday.

“Back still stiff and just not quite ready,” Mark Steinberg, said in a text to ESPN when asked if the former world number one would play at Bay Hill.

Woods, who is chasing a record 83rd career win on the PGA Tour, has not played since finishing last at 11-over par 295 among players who made the cut at the Genesis Invitational at Riviera in California two weeks ago.

“I was just off, it happens,” Woods, who has been bothered by a stiff back, said after the tournament.

“I’m off and I got a chance to have the week off (passing on last week’s WGC-Mexico Championship) and do a little prep, a little practicing, some training, be at home and all positive things.”

The 44-year-old also decided not to play in this week’s Honda Classic near his South Florida home.

Woods said on Tuesday he would prepare for the April 9-12 Masters in much the same way as in 2019 when he ended an 11-year wait for a major title at Augusta National.

“It worked last year, so yeah, I’ve got a blueprint for what I need to do and hopefully I can have the same feelings,” Woods said on a conference call.

Reporting by Gene Cherry in Salvo, North Carolina; Editing by Ken Ferris