Tiger Woods withdrew after playing 11 holes in the first round of the Farmers Insurance Open on Thursday, citing back pain caused in part by a weather delay for coastal fog in La Jolla, Calif.
Woods's early exit marked the eighth time in his PGA Tour career that he's withdrawn from a tournament and the sixth time he's done so in the last five seasons. That number is nine if you include the 1995 U.S. Open, where a then 19-year-old Woods -- an amateur at the time -- withdrew after injuring his wrist while playing a shot from deep rough at Shinnecock Hills.
Here is a breakdown of Woods's withdrawals on the PGA Tour, in chronological order:
- 1998: Woods withdraws before the start of the Kemper Open due to a back injury
- 2006: Woods withdraws before teeing off in the third round of the Nissan Open citing the flu
- 2010: Woods withdraws from the Players Championship after eight holes in the final round citing a neck injury
- 2011: Woods withdraws after nine holes in the first round of the Players Championship citing a knee injury
- 2012: Woods withdraws from the WGC-Cadillac Championship at Doral after 12 holes in the final round citing a left leg injury
- 2014: Woods withdraws after 13 holes in the final round of the Honda Classic citing lower back spasms
- 2014: Woods withdraws after eight holes in the final round of the Bridgestone Invitational, citing lower back spasms.
- 2015: Woods withdraws after 11 holes in the first round of the Farmers Insurance Open, citing back pain.
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Talk about an out-of-this-world golf experience.
On Feb. 6, 1971 -- 44 years ago today -- Alan Shepard pulled out a makeshift six-iron he smuggled on board Apollo 14 and hit two golf balls on the lunar surface, becoming the first -- and only -- person to play golf anywhere other than Earth.
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The first American astronaut in space was named commander of Apollo 14 and wanted to do something special while on the moon. So he contacted a local club pro in Houston, who connected the head of a six-iron to the shaft of a piece of rock collecting equipment. Shepard then covered the club with a sock so it wouldn't be discovered before launch.
Only a handful of people in NASA knew of Shepard's plan when, after an extended excursion on the lunar surface, he pulled out the club, dropped two balls on the moon and proceeded to do this:
Shepard shanked the first ball, but estimated his second shot traveled more than 200 yards. Even though it seemed like a stunt at the time, Shepard admitted there was some science involved. With little atmosphere and much lower gravity, golf balls on the moon should travel much farther than on the earth.
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Shepard eventually donated the club to the USGA Museum in 1974. A replica is in the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C. He eventually retired from the space program and lived in a home overlooking Cypress Point in Pebble Beach, Calif. He died in 1998.
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