Tiger Woods drops out of The Honda Classic

He said ongoing back spasms are the reason
Posted at 10:23 AM, Feb 10, 2017
and last updated 2018-12-10 09:41:49-05

The reaction is nearly universal from local golf fans.

“We will be disappointed this year, because we thought for sure he would be able to come and play,” resident Monica Uhlhorn says.

You can include the tournament's executive director Ken Kennerly among those disappointed Tiger will not be taking the field this year.

“Tiger is a fan favorite, he's a world favorite,” Kennerly says.

The golfing legend says he just couldn't cut it this year - as back spasms will keep him on the shelf.

It’s the second straight year Woods will sit out the tournament.

“The most important thing from our perspective is that he gets healthy and he comes back to the game of golf, because the game of golf really needs Tiger Woods," Kennerly says.

With the Classic less than two weeks away, some are wondering if Tiger’s absence will impact fan interest.

Kennerly says it will - to an extent.

“I think we'll see some fall back at the gate,” he says. “The last minute walk up consumer that wants to come and watch Tiger Woods.”

However, he says the rest of the field will make up for it.

That group he says will include 10 of the top 20 golfers in the world – in addition to last year's winner Adam Scott.

Kennelly says they aren't just relying on players for drawing power however - he says amenities, attractions and the social atmosphere really brings in the crowds.

He's says overall ticket sales are up over 2016 - where the Classic saw record attendance.

“We knew that we couldn't survive just being a normal PGA tour event. We had to create more of an entertainment vehicle and that's what we've done,” he says.

As for Tiger, disappointed fans like Monica hope his absence this year will lead to better days ahead.

“I'm hoping that he can return to where he was. I know he's got it in him.”



Tiger Woods has dropped out of the Honda Classic for medical reasons.

Honda Classic Executive Director Kenneth R. Kennerly released this statement Friday morning:

"Like everybody in golf, we continue to pull for Tiger to get back to being 100% healthy and playing the level of golf which he and all of us have enjoyed for two decades. We look forward to his return from this setback and to welcoming him again at The Honda Classic. We have a wonderful tournament planned with many of the best players in the world who I know are going to miss Tiger's presence as well."


On his webpage, Woods cited back spasms similar to what he experienced in Dubai. 

He posted this statement:

"My doctors have advised me not to play the next two weeks, to continue my treatment and to let my back calm down," Tiger said. "This is not what I was hoping for or expecting. I am extremely disappointed to miss the Genesis Open, a tournament that benefits my foundation, and The Honda Classic, my hometown event. I would like to thank Genesis for their support, and I know we will have an outstanding week."