PALM BEACH GARDENS, United States (AFP) - World number one Tiger Woods withdrew from the final round of the Honda Classic on Sunday, March 2, 2014, citing a sore back.
A day after shooting his lowest score of the year on the United States (US) PGA Tour - a third-round 65 at the par-70 PGA National - Woods was five-over for the day through 13 holes of the final round when he pulled out, shaking hands with his playing partners on the 13th green before unceremoniously departing.
The 14-time major champion had parred his last four holes, the 10th through 13th, but he was nine over on the front nine, including a double-bogey seven at the par-five third hole.
With less than six weeks to go until the first major of the year, the Masters at Augusta National April 10 to 13, it was another disappointment for Woods, whose 2014 campaign has gotten off to a stuttering start with a missed secondary cut at Torrey Pines and a shared 41st place at Dubai.
He just made the Honda Classic cut on the number, but had seemed to find something in his game on Saturday with a round that included seven birdies and two bogeys.
Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy was leading the US$6 million (S$7.6 million) tournament midway through the final round.
Woods is scheduled to tee it up on Thursday in the World Golf Championships Cadillac Championship at Doral, where he is the defending champion.
He said through a spokesman that it was "too early to tell" if he would be able to defend his title there.
Woods added in his statement that his back flared up when he was warming up on Sunday, and the problem was similar to the back spasms that he battled en route to a runner-up finish at The Barclays last August.