Tiger Woods retires of Dubai Desert Classic after back spasm!

Tiger Woods has withdrawn from the Dubai Desert Classic before the second round, because of a back problem.

The 14-time major winner only returned to action in December after 15 months out following two back operations.

Woods, 41, struggled in the first round in Dubai as he shot a five-over 77.

His agent Mark Steinberg said the American suffered a back spasm on Thursday night but was told by Woods that it was not “the nerve pain that’s kept him out for so long”.

Steinberg explained: “He feels terrible for the tournament. He wants to be here. He can move around. He can’t make a full rotation on the swing.

“The fact he feels it’s not the nerve pain is very encouraging for him. He’s had some spasms before, no doubt about it.

Woods’ first return to competitive action after his lengthy lay-off came at the Hero World Challenge – an 18-man tournament in the Bahamas – in December and he finished 15th at the PGA Tour event.

Afterwards, he expressed concerns over the physical challenge of being scheduled to play four full-field tournaments over the next five weeks.

The former world number one’s next two tournaments were to be the Genesis Open at Riviera from 16-19 February and the Honda Classic in Palm Beach Gardens from 23-26 February but his participation now appears in doubt.

Woods, who has won 79 titles on the PGA Tour, has not won a tournament anywhere since 2013, while his title drought in the major championships dates back to 2008.

source: BBC Sport