Tiger Woods withdrew from the Bridgestone Invitational on the ninth fairway in Sunday's final round at Firestone Country Club after re-injuring his back on the second hole.
Woods, an eight-time champion of the event, told a PGA Tour representative that the injury occurred on his second shot on No. 2 when he fell back into the bunker.
"I just jarred it, it's been spasming ever since," Woods said. "It's just the whole lower back. I don't know what happened."
Woods said the pain got progressively worse as he continued. On No. 9, he hit his drive down the right side of the fairway and was grimacing as he bent down to pick up his tee. He walked up the fairway and got almost to his ball when he stopped, shook hands with playing partner Bubba Watson and his caddie and was driven to the parking lot in a golf cart.
Tiger Woods after reinjuring his back & withdrawing from Bridgestone Invitational pic.twitter.com/bllnAqzLix— Marla Ridenour (@MRidenourABJ) August 3, 2014
Woods was in visible pain as he removed his golf shoes in the parking lot, bracing himself against the open hatch of his tournament SUV. He was unable to tie the shoes he put on.
Woods was playing in his third event since March 31 back surgery. Next week is the PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Ky. The last time the PGA was held at Valhalla in 2000, Woods won in a three-hole playoff with Bob May.
Asked what his back injury might mean for next week, Woods said, "I don't know. Just trying to get out of here."
Watson didn't see the shot Woods hurt himself on, only its result, but said Woods never let on how badly he was hurting.
"He showed us at the U.S. Open at Torrey Pines, when he had the hurt leg, what a great champion he is," Watson said of Woods' last major victory in 2008. He needed surgery eight days later to repair the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee. "He's going to try to tough it out. Obviously it got too tough for him.
"The man won a tournament with a hurt leg. I get a paper cut and I'm going to withdraw. He's a lot tougher than me, so, no, he would never show it. He was brought up a military man just like myself and you try not to show it."
Watson also speculated that it might not have helped Woods' pain when he had to hit out of the wet rough on Nos. 5 and 6.
Watson said he wasn't ruling Woods out of the field for next week's PGA.
"Obviously he can muster up some courage and play some golf," Watson said. "What I'm guessing is he's like, 'Do I want to go nine more holes or get ready for next week?' Try to get some more rest, therapy, whatever it takes to get him ready for next week. He's got four days until Thursday."