Tiger Woods suffers back spasms at Genesis Invitational, ‘hoping’ to stay on schedule

Tiger Woods’ back has flared up on him again.

After hitting a perfect drive on the 18th hole at Riviera Thursday, Woods hit a shot that resembled a 25-handicapper.

He shanked his approach right into the trees, which traveled only 71 yards. That left him in a precarious position and led to a bogey. Woods ultimately signed for a 1-over 72 in the first round of the Genesis Invitational.

But his lack of skill did not contribute to this dreaded swing.

It was his back.

“My back spasmed on it, and it was spasming over the last three holes,” Woods explained to Kira K. Dixon on the Golf Channel after the round.

“It just locked up on me; [my back] didn’t move. I didn’t rotate and presented the hosel first.”

Throughout his career, Woods has had multiple back surgeries. Those various operations kept him sidelined for months, and sometimes years, depending on the severity. His last back surgery came in early January 2021, roughly one month before he was in a devastating car crash.

Woods later admitted he has a lot of work ahead of him Thursday evening to prepare his body for the second round Friday. He will begin his second round at 2:54 p.m. ET alongside Gary Woodland and Justin Thomas.

As for playing beyond the Genesis Invitational, Woods remains cautiously optimistic.

“I’m hoping that’s the case, hoping that I play [once per month],” he said to the media after.

“Things are a little bit sore, but that’s to be expected… As far as the physical ups and downs, that’s just part of my body; that’s part of what it is. That’s all right, I accept it and accept the challenges.”

Jack Milko is a golf staff writer for SB Nation’s Playing Through. Be sure to check out @_PlayingThrough for more golf coverage. You can follow him on Twitter @jack_milko as well.

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