Time to retire? Another setback for Woods as back spasms force him out of Dubai Desert Classic

The 41-year-old has withdrawn with injury after playing the opening round.

TIGER WOODS HAS withdrawn from the Dubai Desert Classic with a back injury after shooting an opening-round 5-over 77.

Emirates Golf Woods during the first round. Source: Kamran Jebreili

The European Tour, without giving a reason, announced his withdrawal on Saturday before Woods began his second round in the tournament.

After Woods’ opening round, he said “I wasn’t in pain at all … I was just trying to hit shots and I wasn’t doing a very good job.”

Mark Steinberg, Woods’ agent, added: “He can move around, he just can’t make a full rotation on the swing.

“Spasms are a funny thing. I’m no doctor, but they come and go. The fact that he feels that it’s not the nerve pain, that’s very encouraging for him.

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“He’s had some spasms before. Now he’s got to get the spasm to calm down. He has his trainer here, which is good, and he has been working on him for the past several hours.

Forget about the long-term, the short-term prognosis is he thinks hopefully he will be strong based on the fact that it’s not that nerve pain.

“He talked to you guys yesterday and said there was no pain, just not great play. I was with him before he went to dinner last night, (and there was) no pain. It’s one of those things where it just happened.”

At the beginning of Day 2, Sergio Garcia leads Chile’s Felipe Aguilar and South African George Coetzee by one shot after a superb opening round of seven-under par 65.

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