The Golfer of the Year – an award Ballesteros won on three occasions in 1986, ‘88 and ‘91 – is voted for by the golf media. He beat off competition from Rose, Tommy Fleetwood, Tyrrell Hatton and Rookie of the Year Jon Rahm...
Woods withdraws from Arnold Palmer Invitational with The Masters also in doubt
Tiger Woods is enduring one of the worst times in his illustrious career right now – having withdrawn from the Arnold Palmer Invitational due to ongoing back problems – and it looks like his injuries could carry over into The Masters at Augusta in April.
Tiger is a huge fan of the event in Orlando and was quick to make his apologies for the withdrawal via his official website. He said: "I personally called Arnold to tell him that, sadly, I won't be able to play in his tournament this year.
"I would like to express my regrets to the Orlando fans, the volunteers, the tournament staff and the sponsors for having to miss the event.
"Unfortunately, my back spasms and the pain haven't subsided."
There should be no doubt in anyone’s mind that Tiger wanted to participate at the Arnold Palmer Invitational this week, especially being the defending champion, but with the World No.1 still plagued by serious back pain, taking the risk seems fruitless when the first major of the season is right around the corner.
"It's too early to know about the Masters and I will continue to be evaluated and work closely with my doctors,” Woods’ statement continued.
"I feel badly that I won't be able to play in this great tournament this week."
Tiger will surely have circled April 10 on his golfing calendar as it marks the beginning of The Masters Tournament at Augusta, which he last tasted success at back in 2005.
This week’s event at Bay Hill, which has simply arrived too soon, would have been only Tiger’s fourth on the PGA Tour this year, and he has not won a tournament since the first week of August 2013.
Speculation as to Wood’s health surfaced earlier this month when he was again plagued by back trouble which saw him leave the field in the Honda Classic at Palm Beach Gardens after previously telling reporters his back was feeling far from stable. Woods quit the game after 13 holes of his final round and has since struggled to gain a foothold on the injury.