Tiger Woods' back flares up again, raising more questions as Masters nears

Tiger Woods at the Cadillac Championship
USA Today Sports Images
Tiger Woods' back has caused him problems in the final rounds of each of his last two starts.
By John Holmes

Series: Golf Buzz

Published: Sunday, March 09, 2014 | 11:12 p.m.
Tiger Woods began Sunday at the Cadillac Championship only three shots out of the lead, and with his best chance so far this year to win a tournament. He ended it with a 78 – his worst Sunday score ever.
The reason? His tender back acted up again, only a week after he withdrew from the Honda Classic midway through the final round with back spasms. 
''Just let me get through this day, get some treatment and we'll assess it as time goes on,'' Woods said after gingerly finishing up at Doral.
Woods struggled at the beginning of his final round, hitting spectators on both the first and third holes. But, he said, the pain really increased after a bunker shot on the sixth hole. He had an awkward stance, with his left foot in the sand and his right foot flexed against the bunker's lip.
''That's what set it off, and then it was done after that,'' he said. 
"It is back spasms, so we've done all the protocols and it's just a matter of keeping everything aligned so I don't go into that," he added. "It's basically started on six, the second shot out of the bunker, my foot was out of the bunker."
After that, he said it was a matter of, ''just see if I could actually manage ... keep the spasms at bay.''
If he feels good, he can still make "a pretty decent swing," he told Reuters. "You saw it yesterday. I actually can make some good swings and shoot a good score, but if I'm feeling like this, it's a little tough.
"I mean, it was just one thing that set it off and as I say, I had a quick turnaround from last week," he added. "Normally things like this, you shut it down for a while and then get back up and get the strength and everything developed around it."
Woods will take this coming week off as planned and get more treatment on his back. He is still scheduled to return to the Arnold Palmer Invitational, where he is the defending champion. The Masters is two weeks after Bay Hill, and Woods enters this final month before the Masters with more questions than answers about his health.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.