Tiger Woods withdrew from the Genesis Invitational midway through the second round due to illness

LOS ANGELES — Tiger Woods' comeback is complete.

Woods withdrew from The Genesis Invitational, an event hosted every year in Southern California and his first official tournament since last year's Masters, due to an illness on Friday afternoon.

Woods hits his tee shot on the seventh hole at Riviera Country Club after a rough start to his second round. After hitting his drive and landing it on the fairway, Woods got into a cart and left the course, signaling the end of his tournament. At one point on the ride back to the clubhouse he was seen putting his head in his hands.

At the time, Woods was 1-over for the round and 2-over for the tournament.

Tour and rules official Mark Dusbabek later confirmed that Woods had withdrawn due to illness. Woods stopped in the bathroom several times through his six holes. He was seen hunched over the fifth tee box and leaning on a cooler, clearly uncomfortable. According to Rob McNamara, Woods' longtime business partner and manager, he started feeling some “flu-like symptoms” after Thursday's round.

“[He] Woke up this morning and it was worse than the night before,” McNamara said. “He had a little fever and that was fine when warmed up, but then he was out there walking and playing. , he began to faint.

“Eventually the doctors say he has some kind of fever and he's dehydrated. He's been treated with an IV bag and he's doing great and will be released here soon.”

Woods himself left the clubhouse and got into a vehicle to leave the course after McNamara's comments. An ambulance was called to the Riviera due to a “medical claim,” but neither Woods nor anyone else was transported.

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Tiger Woods withdrew from The Genesis Invitational on Friday afternoon after bogeying the seventh hole at Riviera Country Club.

Tiger Woods withdrew from The Genesis Invitational on Friday afternoon after bogeying the seventh hole at Riviera Country Club. (Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

Woods released a statement on social media Saturday morning, confirming that he withdrew due to what he now knows was the flu and that he is feeling better.

Cary Woodland, who was playing with Woods and Justin Thomas, said early on that Woods wasn't doing well.

“I looked at it and he obviously didn't look right,” Woodland said. “I saw it before the round started. It's boring. Obviously, everything's been great there and for him in his first series, and he couldn't come out and finish the way he wanted to, and that's sad for all of us.”

Woods posted a 1-over 72 to open the Genesis Invitational on Thursday. His first round was incredibly uneventful, and he really fumbled what should have been an easy approach on the final hole. He credits the brutal fusion procedure he underwent on his back in 2017, which he said he dealt with back pain during the last game. He underwent a second fusion procedure on his ankle last year after withdrawing from his master's degree. But he said the ankle didn't bother him on both Wednesday and Thursday.

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Woods did not appear to be in any physical pain with his back or foot on Friday before withdrawing.

“No body, his back is fine,” McNamara said. “It was all medical illness, dehydration, which now that he had an IV the symptoms reversed themselves.”

Patrick Cantlay led the tournament at 10-under the week Woods withdrew, although Cantlay was halfway through his second round. Woods was two shots outside the projected cutline, so he'll need a strong finish in the back half of his round on Friday to make it through the weekend.

Woods has long said he hopes to play a tournament every month in 2024, which would allow him to play in all four major championships. In theory, that means Woods will try to compete at either the Arnold Palmer Invitational or The Players Championship next month.

Candle flew ahead of the rest of the field on Friday afternoon. He backed up his opening-round 64 with a bogey-free 65 that took him to 13-under by the middle of the tournament. The Southern California native will enter Sunday with a five-shot lead over the rest of the field.

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