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Tiger Woods withdraws from Dubai Desert Classic with back spasms

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Those optimistic about the most recent comeback attempt of Tiger Woods face yet another hurdle in their conviction that the 41-year-old can return to his winning ways. Woods withdrew from the European Tour’s Dubai Desert Classic on Friday one hour before his tee time citing with back spasms that left him unable “to make a full rotation in his swing,” according to agent Mark Steinberg.

Woods shot a 77 on Thursday at the Emirates Golf Club, leaving him 12 shots behind Round 1 leader Sergio Garcia. He appeared to be in discomfort throughout the round, but told reporters afterward that he was not experiencing back pain.

“No, I wasn’t in pain at all,” Woods said. “I was just trying to hit shots and I wasn’t doing a very good job.”

The back spasms occurred after dinner on Thursday night, Steinberg said. “He tried to work it out, but didn’t get it worked out.” Steinberg clarified that the spasms Woods is experiencing are not coupled with the nerve pain the 14-time major champion has battled the last two seasons that has resulted in three back operations.

Woods is scheduled to play in next week’s Genesis Open on the PGA Tour and the Honda Classic the following week.

Discussion: See what GolfWRX Members are saying about Woods’ withdraw in our forum.

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53 Comments

53 Comments

  1. Guia

    Feb 4, 2017 at 8:55 pm

    I have/am hoping that he can pull it together. But I am beginning to think that a number of the times he has pulled out demonstrates that he does not handle pain or physical diversity very well. I am old and seem to always have something that isn’t physically right. Of course, I don’t play for a living or fame.

  2. AP

    Feb 3, 2017 at 10:41 pm

    Leave the man be and go back to your shanties…. People feel the need to revel in someone else’s failure to build themselves up, and that is the saddest part of all. Let the man golf until he doesn’t golf, and let that be the end of it. People should be rooting for the success of their favorite player, not the demise of another. He’s the reason half of the young tour players today even picked a club and the reason why purse amounts are so astronomically high. Golf needs him and since his decline, all I hear from interviews is how the state of the GAME is in free-fall as viewership/participation in the game is losing ground. Love him or hate him, there’s no changing his legacy/importance, and he should be able to go about his business, no matter who hates him. Its his occupation and livelihood, so anyone who would like comments on their at-work performance should look hard into the mirror and be thankful the world isn’t critical of their every wrong move. You don’t know him, you’ve likely never met him, so stop all the condescension and judgment.

    • Skip

      Feb 4, 2017 at 11:29 am

      Very well-said. Funny the lack of tact people have behind a keyboard.

    • Brian

      Feb 5, 2017 at 11:26 am

      Tiger is reaping what he has sown. If you can’t understand that, you should probably avoid article comment sections related to Tiger.

      • Hack

        Feb 6, 2017 at 10:06 am

        You mean because he cheated on his wife? Yeah, he is the first touring pro to ever do that. Well except for that absolute legend that you would get crucified for ever saying a word against and a few hundred others.

  3. mka

    Feb 3, 2017 at 10:29 pm

    Tiger has made some decisions in the past that are having adverse effects on his game…for some time now. His championship level of play seems to be in a downward spiral. He’s had an amazing run, though!

  4. Tom54

    Feb 3, 2017 at 6:32 pm

    My comment on Tiger is simple. When he was on top of the golf world when he was playing he knew 99% of people were in awe of him. Fast forward after his fall from grace he most likely steps on the tee wondering how many fans now think he’s a loser. He was never able to capture that aura about him again. It is sad cause let’s be real, no one has been able to propel a golf ball around like he could. I agree with those who say stay away from the gym and hit balls.

    • Ommmmmm

      Feb 4, 2017 at 3:09 am

      I wasn’t in awe of him. In fact, I wasn’t even playing enough golf in the 90’s and 00’s to care who was what and what golf clubs looked like. I didn’t know people thought he had an aura. He’s never endeared himself to his Thai routes, so he never had his aura to start, he only pretended to be Buddhist when he got caught with them chicks, so he never had any aura, as fake as he’s been all his life. Lets be real, he was always fake, and he still is. So much acting. And he’s not even good at it, you can hear it in the manner and style he speaks. He should have reached out more to his Thai roots through his mother from the beginning than learn to chase tail, taking after his father and his father’s best friend.

      • Skip

        Feb 4, 2017 at 11:33 am

        nobody really cares if you were in awe of him or not.

        • S Hitter

          Feb 4, 2017 at 8:35 pm

          Obviously you do, enough to come here and comment inanely, you eejit

  5. BooBunkie

    Feb 3, 2017 at 5:26 pm

    What, who me, back problems?! Not even!! I’m jumpin’ out of a plane next week with the Navy SEALS! Then I’m entering a SAP long drive comp from the top of a sky scraper after that! Then off to LA for the Riviera deal. Let’s see, then the east coast swing! Huh, what, I got this! My back brackets are not coming loose, I was just wearing the wrong size shoes in Dubai. What 15-18 hour flight, I slept in the prone position all the way. Not a big deal guys, I got this! I’ll be at the Mahztaz in April ready to WIN!! You’ll see, just a hiccup in my run to the top again. No worries!!!

    Yeah right Eldrick………..yeah right!!!

  6. B Moore

    Feb 3, 2017 at 4:39 pm

    As long as he got his appearance fee, what does it matter?

    • Ommmmmm

      Feb 4, 2017 at 3:10 am

      Exactly. Laughing all the way to the bank.

  7. Jim

    Feb 3, 2017 at 3:52 pm

    Back spasms?…more like brain spasms…
    TIGER is Fini….dead as a 40 yr old Wilson just dredged out of a water hazard.

    BIGGEST Brain meltdown since Ian Baker Finch…

    Malpractice-level bad ‘coaching’ from Haney/Foley didn’t help, but we’re far enough beyond them and even the physical damage they caused….He should NOT be looking like he’s 25 and just finished BUDS…He’s definitely not training right for a golfer with injuries to protect.

    IF Eldric ever gets his head out of his butt, he can win another couple events…What’d be wrong with hitting it 299 in play and spending less time IFO mirrors in the gym and more on putting

    • Ommmmmm

      Feb 4, 2017 at 3:12 am

      Haney never did anything wrong. The Haney period was one of the most productive that Eldrick had. It’s Eldrick’s tail chasing that messed him up, not Hank Haney. Open your eyes

    • Brenner Pieszak

      Feb 4, 2017 at 11:56 am

      have you been watching him play? you think putting is his problem? lol, this sounds like your fat and out of shape and you like to golf so it makes u feel better when good golfers dont look like they work out.

      he defntly doesnt look anything like jason day, the world no.1, right????

      right?

      right????

      right?

      u sound like a tool dude lol

  8. mike t

    Feb 3, 2017 at 3:51 pm

    Why in the world would you take a 15 hour plane flight to play in Dubai knowing you have a history of recent back surgeries ???

    • Tazz2293

      Feb 3, 2017 at 5:54 pm

      There were 1.5 Million reasons he did. Whether he gets to keep it is another story

    • Brenner Pieszak

      Feb 4, 2017 at 11:57 am

      just like you me and everyone else in the world, tiger likes this thing called money. imagine how much they paid him to come play there this week instead of phoenix or w/e.

      a lot. 😀

  9. M-Herd4

    Feb 3, 2017 at 3:43 pm

    Whew! Thank God it’s just his back… I thought for sure his glutes weren’t activating again!!

  10. Jeff

    Feb 3, 2017 at 11:55 am

    Brandel was talking about him on the Golf Channel, he said he looked like the oldest 40 year old EVER!!! He looked like he was walking around standing as straight up as you can, coming out of a bunker early in the round. When I saw him walking, he looked jacked up. He completely tried to hide his pain and discomfort. IMO, he will never, ever win again. He told us he wouldn’t come back until he was ready. And he thought he was ready???? I don’t think so. He is DONE!! His body can not handle playing golf anymore. So sad!!!????????????????

    • S Hitter

      Feb 3, 2017 at 1:03 pm

      Happy!

      • Tazz2293

        Feb 3, 2017 at 5:56 pm

        Yes. Now if the media and the Golf Channel will cool their jets we can get back to following Golf without having to hear the constant drum beat of the sycophants

  11. Carl

    Feb 3, 2017 at 11:54 am

    Sad but watching so many of these young pros you see the swings they “Haff” to use to compete on tour is trouble brewing….there are many short cut swings sold to us Amatures (Graves Moe Norman, Peek Performance by Don Trahan, Square to Square etc) which for the shorter old hitters can make the game a lot easier on the body. The kids got to stay in shape to play the game and as Tiger is showing even staying in shape is not going to keep all of them away from injury…you can blame the length of courses on this problem for sure…

    • S Hitter

      Feb 3, 2017 at 1:05 pm

      Nobody said anything about staying in shape like a Chippendales linebacker would be good for a golf swing

  12. robin

    Feb 3, 2017 at 11:31 am

    Like all Ped users there bodies breaks down before there time.

  13. Mower

    Feb 3, 2017 at 10:59 am

    You have to look at Phil Mickelson; never got all “ripped up” like Tiger and is still going strong. From that, I have to conclude that muscle building puts un-needed stress on the body, and not good for longevity in golf.

    • Scott

      Feb 3, 2017 at 11:05 am

      I am not so sure that I agree with that, but I will say that if you are getting ripped, it appears that you need a different pre and post game stretching routine to keep from tightening up. I am not sure if the stretching routines that Tiger and others use really work, or are they not doing them enough.

    • Greg Marthaler

      Feb 3, 2017 at 12:06 pm

      And yet, Tiger 25-1 for Augusta, Phil 30-1!

    • Tim

      Feb 3, 2017 at 12:08 pm

      Not just Tiger a lot of these younger pros are wearing out their bodies trying to hit the driver over 300 yards….then going up and hitting 9 irons 170 yards…maxing out distance every other swing is going to tear anyones body down sooner then later….

  14. Hook nose Slicer

    Feb 3, 2017 at 10:15 am

    I think it had more to do with him being very far back in the pack, no chance of making the cut, and the terrible weather delay conditions. He just wanted to come home. Back spasm is a believable excuse. Especially the way his agent is padding it.

    • Grizz01

      Feb 3, 2017 at 10:24 am

      Absolutely. Tiger has pulled this crap before. I was hoping he would have grown up by now and take his bad play like a man. No, he’ll never when another major, not because of some physical problem, but because he can’t mentally handle playing poorly.

      • Rafibomb

        Feb 3, 2017 at 12:15 pm

        I agree. Tiger collected his $1 – 2 million dollar appearance fee and went home.

    • Grizz01

      Feb 3, 2017 at 10:28 am

      No back problems, just head problems. Look at his chest. He’s been pumping iron, you can’t bench press with a bad back.

  15. NolanMBA

    Feb 3, 2017 at 10:03 am

    (sigh)…

  16. ooffa

    Feb 3, 2017 at 10:00 am

    Another WD. Who could have predicted that would happen?

  17. blakes

    Feb 3, 2017 at 9:15 am

    he’s gonna get eaten up at the Honda Classic. I see a couple of 80s in his future if he doesn’t go ahead and WD.

  18. golfraven

    Feb 3, 2017 at 8:51 am

    Ok, Tiger is 40 now and maybe not as fresh than at his prime but no reason for a coup de grâce. Even I give him another 10-20 years on tour (most of that on the senior tour).

    • golfraven

      Feb 3, 2017 at 8:54 am

      Maybe not evident from the article but I received the email from WRX with following subject:
      Is he finished? Tiger withdraws in Dubai

    • Ommmmmm

      Feb 4, 2017 at 3:15 am

      Yes but he wants to win a few more majors, wasn’t that the plan?

  19. JJVas

    Feb 3, 2017 at 8:43 am

    From a 41-year old with back issues… it’s over, dude. Get as healthy as you can and enjoy life with the kids. Take up fly fishing. This is Larry Bird laying on the towel. It doesn’t get better, it gets worse. Nothing left to prove. Second doesn’t suck, and he’s the 2nd best player of all-time.

    • Justin

      Feb 3, 2017 at 9:53 am

      *greatest player of all time

      • JJVas

        Feb 3, 2017 at 10:54 am

        **Except for that pesky Hall of Fame major career (Ernie Els / Ray Floyd / Rory McIlroy) in between #1 and #2.

      • DrRob1963

        Feb 3, 2017 at 6:24 pm

        Nicklaus & Hogan were both better than Tiger IMHO, but Tiger is right up there. Still love to see Tiger back to his top form!

  20. SV

    Feb 3, 2017 at 8:40 am

    He may say he didn’t have back pain, but the way he was walking, and even standing, from the first hole on sure looked liked something was wrong.

  21. Weekend Duffer

    Feb 3, 2017 at 8:34 am

    It’s getting sad.

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Tour News

Genesis Invitational Tour Truck Report: DJ testing driver shafts, Xander’s new irons

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It’s always a big week at Riviera, but from a tour truck standpoint, it was actually pretty mellow. Some testing here and there with the big news being DJ testing a bunch of driver shafts. Anytime a world No. 1 does anything to his setup, it’s always news.

Titleist

Brian Harman switched into a Graphite Design Tour AD IZ 5 X  in his TSi2 (9 degrees). 

Lanto Griffin went from TSi2 (10 degrees) driver to TSi3 driver (10 degrees). His shaft of choice is the Project X HZURDUS Smoke Black 70 6.5 TX.

Aaron Dill AKA @vokeywedgerep

Lots of fresh grooves this week (staffers)

Cam Davis 60T

Jordan Spieth 60T

Matt Jones 60-12D

Adam Scott 60-12D @10 (new)

Robert Streb 60-04L

“Adam Scott is making changes to his 60-12D. Mentioned with firmer conditions, he wanted to feel less forward bounce on his lob wedge.  Took his 60-12D and reduced forward bounce and camber down two degrees.  This allowed the face to get closer to the ground and move his strike a little higher up the face in increasing his launch slightly.”

Ping

Scott Harrington put a new G425 LST 3-wood (14.5 degrees) in the bag this week. It’s equipped with a Fujikura Ventus Blue 8 X shaft.

Kevin Streelman (non-staffer) added a bit of loft to his G425 LST (9 degrees). Streelman still has the five-plus-year-old Aldila Rogue Silver 125MSI 70 TX.

TaylorMade

Collin Morikawa tested irons with TaylorMade rep Adrian Rietveld working back into a combo set he has preferred in the past. The current combo this week with TaylorMade’s P7MC (4-6) into P730 (7-PW) with True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100 shafts.

Collin Morikawa WITB

Driver: TaylorMade SIM (8 degrees @ 9.5)

Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana D+ Limited  70 TX

3-wood: TaylorMade SIM Titanium “Rocket” (14 degrees @ 13.5)

Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana D+ Limited D+ 80 TX

Hybrid: TaylorMade SIM2 Max Rescue (19 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro White Hybrid 100 TX

Irons: TaylorMade P7MC (4-6), TaylorMade P730 (7-PW)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100

Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design SM8 (52-12F, 56-14F) TaylorMade Hi Toe2 (60-07LB)

Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400

Putter: TaylorMade FCG

Ball: TP5 21

Rather monumental potential iron shaft switch for Rory McIlroy: @trottiegolf shared a truck ticket with an order for a new set of P7MB’s with True Temper Dynamic Gold X7’s. We will see if they go in play.

 

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A post shared by Chris Trott (@trottiegolf)

Dustin Johnson was doing some serious shaft testing this week and was spotted with a LAGP Proto “Made for DJ” prototype. Johnson is currently trying to find a shaft that would complement the SIM2/Max head. This particular prototype has a VERY stable tip, which complements DJ’s desire to never miss it left.

LAG DJ Proto 2 of 2 (LAG made two trotos to test). The shaft is 73 grams, which is a bit heavier than his normal gamer.

If it goes in this week, we will get more info. Stay tuned.

Callaway

Xander Schauffele put a new set of “Raw” TCB irons in play (4-PW) with Nippon Pro Modus3 130X shafts. Xander was also testing a Mavrik Sub Zero 4-wood with a Graphite Design Tour AD DI 8 X and Mavrik 7-wood with a Graphite Design Tour AD DI 9 X. He will also most likely have his Mizuno MP-20 HMB 3-iron in play this week at Riviera.

Kevin Na tested an Epic Speed Sub Zero Triple Diamond (9 degrees) with a Graphite Design Tour AD GP 6 TX shaft.

Francesco Molinari tested an Epic Speed Triple Diamond driver (9 degrees) with a Fujikura Ventus Red 6 X and an Epic Speed 3-wood (15 degrees) with a Fujikura Ventus Red 7 X. 

Marc Leishman was also testing Epic Speed Triple Diamond (9) with a Fujikura Speeder EVO IV 757 TX.

ScottEG/KBS

Luke List had a new set of PXG 0311 ST irons built up with KBS Tour V 125 S+ shafts.

Bryson Dechambeau made some loft adjustments to his SIK Proto putter. BAD was looking to add a bit of loft to get the ball on top of the grass a bit better heading into the Florida swing.

Free agents/miscellaneous

Charl Schwartzel was testing Mitsubishi Chemical’s new Kai’li Blue 70 TX and 80 TX shafts in his TaylorMade SIM2 3- and 5-woods.

Harold Varner III tested a Ping G425 LST (10.5 degrees @11.5) with a Fujikura Atmos Black Tour Spec 7 X shaft.

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Interesting photos from the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am (plus links to all galleries)

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A tour event at one of the world’s most recognizable golf course—what more could you ask for?

This week, the PGA Tour is at Pebble Beach (without the amateurs) and we were on-site to spy some interesting things from the grounds.

Don’t forget that you can check out the full image galleries in the GolfWRX Tour Equipment forum.

Duval is back!

David Duval is in the field this week and it looks like he has a bag full of Titleist gear including the popular T100 irons.

We spotted some classics

After finding a trusted 3-wood, some of the hardest clubs to replace are hybrids, and based on the age of both of the clubs above, we also don’t imagine them being changed now until they break.

Top – Nike VR Pro hybrid with Matrix Ozik Altus shaft
Bottom – Adams Idea Pro Gold “boxer” square hybrid

Daly has the full spectrum covered

John Daly is by every account a complete feel player, so it should be no surprise to see him using such a precise flatstick—a Scotty Cameron Circle T Napa blade. On the other side of things, everyone likes a little extra distance, and he is also using TaylorMade 770s

An early contender for fairway shaft of the year?

There must be something to the Fujkura Ventus red and its performance in fairway woods because each week we continue to spot more and more showing up in players’ bags – and this week is no exception.

So much shade

Hunter Mahan’s sunglasses have me asking only one question “How fast was I going, officer?”

Ping is bringing the heat with its hats

Ping is generally subdued when it comes to their marketing, but Michael Thompson’s very forward G425 hats sure make a statement.

Luke Donald rocking Jumpman

Luke Donald has a long-standing relationship with MJ (you know you’re a big name when you just need your initials) and this week at Pebble, Luke has some fresh kicks to keep his feet comfy around the hilly Pebble terrain.

Callaway TCB growing in popularity

The Callaway Apex TCB irons (currently a Europe-only release) are growing in popularity on tour, just as fast as the new X-Forged and Apex Pro. Could these become the next Callaway clubs to see a limited release like the Triple Diamond driver?

Fastest growing irons on tour?

When it comes to new irons, the Srixon ZX7 are hot! Srixon hasn’t had an iron picked up this fast on tour since the release of the original Z745, and based on a recent win by a non-staffer, they’re not slowing down anytime soon.

Cink sticking with Accra

The club builder-focused shaft brand has been a mainstay in Cink’s bag for quite a while now and considering he is using a G410, it’s probably not going anywhere.

Epic caddie duster

I bet you could clean the grooves of a dirty wedge with that thing!

Ryan Moore: Someone call the hoodie police

Ryan’s is once again a free agent, and the new Srixon hybrid must be serving him well, plus I like the hoodie (if you don’t, quit being such a curmudgeon). He was also spotted using an Axis 1 putter (below).

Power up, Super Mario-style

Great socks! I’d recognize that little mustachioed plumber anywhere.

I spy a Deadhead

See all our photos from Pebble Beach below

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Interesting photos from the Waste Management Phoenix Open (plus links to all WMPO galleries)

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The Waste Management Phoenix Open is one of the most popular events on tour, and this week we were on and off-site capturing images from both the Monday Qualifier and from the Tuesday practice rounds at TPC Scottsdale.

Considering how many professional golfers live in the Scottsdale area, as well as Ping and PXG headquartered nearby, it has a major “home town” event vibe for many of the pros and these are the most interesting images we saw from Tuesday.

Don’t forget that you can check out the full image galleries in the GolfWRX Tour Equipment forum.

New 2021 Titleist tour staff bag

Titleist recently updated its carry bags for 2021, and it appears that the company has also quietly updated tour staff bags too.

Rahm loves to mess with setup

A quick count shows that John Rahm has 14 clubs in his bag—before you count anything with a headcover. This is not unusual for Rahm since he often changes clubs based on course conditions, I just feel for his caddie.

Erik van Rooyen is looking sharp

Lookout Adam Scott and Rafa Cabrera Bello, Erik looks to quickly be moving towards gaining the title of the best-dressed golfer on tour.

Link Soul carry bag

Although it has become a bit more popular recently, lighter weight stand bags are still not that common on the PGA Tour, and to see such a minimalist bag is even rarer – this player must really like his caddy.

Jason Day’s WITB

Equipment free-agents always has the most interesting golf bag setups and Jason Day certainly has a mixed bag of gear.

Zach Johnson’s camo PXG bag

PXG embraces camo prints any chance it can, and Zack Johnson’s camo bag is one of the most unique on tour.

db_straitvibin, aka Daniel Berger, still kicking it old school (plus a new driver)

Daniel Berger continues to play the 2011 TaylorMade TP MC forged irons, and it’s a delight to see these gems continue to rake in money on tour.

Be a bulldog

It’s usually Ping bags that we spot with custom university colourways, but this TaylorMade Georgia Bulldogs bag is looking sharp in the land of the Sun Devils.

It’s still “putt for dough”

The putting green is always full of interesting contraptions, and this week we spotted a number of things from a BGT Stability shaft, to a bungee cord, and an alignment stick.

We also saw a cool new training aid, which appears to be a tempo training device.

See all our photos from TPC Scottsdale below.

General galleries

Special galleries

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