Tiger Woods withdraws from second round of 2024 Genesis Invitational due to illness

Tiger Woods' 2024 Genesis Invitational is officially over. Woods withdrew from the second round of the competition on the seventh hole at Riviera Country Club on Friday.

According to the PGA Tour, Woods' early exit was due to illness and not due to his physical condition, although the 48-year-old struggled with back spasms during his first round on Thursday.

Tiger also had a noticeable limp when he entered the clubhouse and played his second round on Friday.

“My back tightened up the last few holes and it locked up,” Woods said Thursday. “I came down and it wasn’t moving, and I presented the hosel first and hit it.”

Woods struggled to make the cut after opening the Genesis Invitational with a 1-over 72. After starting with a birdie, the tournament host dropped shots on the par-3 4th and the par-4 5th, dropping him to 2 over for the tournament. He was in danger of not playing the weekend as he was outside the top 50 and more than 10 shots behind leader Patrick Cantlay.

The Genesis Invitational was Woods' first start on the PGA Tour since the 2023 Masters, where he had to withdraw due to an ankle injury. Woods has now withdrawn from three of his last six tournaments since the 2022 Masters and has only completed 72 holes twice on the PGA Tour (including at Riviera last season).

Where Tiger will go from here is anyone's guess. While Woods appeared confident at the Hero World Challenge this winter while hinting that he could play up to one tournament a month in 2024, he may now be reconsidering his previous statement if this withdrawal was due to more than just illness.

Either the Arnold Palmer Invitational or the Players Championship – both in March – represent a logical return tournament for Woods as he advances his preparations for the Masters.

It's clear that Woods needs more time in the arena. He flashed the vintage tiger in his last comeback attempt, but he lacks the consistency to string together four rounds and keep up with his colleagues. Woods' first round was emblematic of this, as he carded five birdies, six bogeys and seven pars. Ultimately, his fight for consistency is not directed against his game, but also against his body.

Physically, Tiger is limited in terms of practice time and, of course, tournament action, which is where his sharpness – or lack thereof – ultimately comes to the fore. If he decides to forego competition during the Florida Swing, the 15-time major champion could arrive at Augusta National in April with few or no game reps for the third consecutive year.