Tiger Woods withdraws from Arnold Palmer Invitational because of neck injury

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This is the first time the 43-year-old Woods has withdrawn from a tournament in two years, shortly before his fourth back surgery to fuse his lower spine.

"1) Unfortunately due to a neck strain that I've had for a few weeks, I'm forced to withdraw from the API".

"I've been receiving treatment, but it hasn't improved enough to play", Woods said in a post on Twitter. "Its connection to Arnold makes it one of my favorite tournaments and I'm disappointed to miss it", Woods said in a follow-up tweet.

"For the better part of four to six months, I had to be helped out of bed every day", Woods said in an interview with ESPN in March 2018, after finishing tied for fifth and 10-under par at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

Woods has a record eight wins at Bay Hill. Then comes the WCG Match Play tournament. He took last week off after playing in the WGC tournament in Mexico. Fan favorite Rickie Fowler, 2018 runner-up Bryson DeChambeau and 2017 victor Jason Day are other big names scheduled to play this week. The black tape, used by Tom Brady when he cut his hand before Super Bowl LII past year, created a buzz in the golf world when it appeared on the nape of Woods's neck, with the company's chief marketing officer telling Golf.com last summer that the tape's primary function was to give Woods "drug-free pain relief and support". The Listowel, Ont. native is 50th in FedEx Cup points after finishing second at the Sanderson Farms Championship last fall and tied for third at the Sony Open in Hawaii this January after Monday qualifying.

Woods has won 14 majors in his illustrious career, but his last came back in 2008.

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