SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – Struggling in the final round of the Honda Classic, Tiger Woods walked off the course after 13 holes, complaining of back spasms.
“He was five over I think for the round, and maybe that made the back feel a little tight,” John Madden told the KCBS Radio morning crew. “I saw him on an interview the night before, and he was talking about how this is the tournament where you start your run for the Masters — you know, you start preparing now in this tournament to start peaking for Augusta. Then the next thing you know, the next day he walks off the course.”
Madden doesn’t doubt that Woods’ back was bothering him.
“If you’re a pro athlete and you’re grinding like they do, I guarantee you there’s always something. Remember when he had the knee, and remember he kind of worked through it and won a tournament? I think if you’re close you grind through it. I think when things aren’t going well you say ‘the heck with it, there’s no need to grind through this.'”
Madden said he expects Woods to play in the Masters next month.
“I think he’ll still be one of the favorites in any major golf tournament you have. But there used to be a day, remember, when we’d talk and I’d say I’ll take Tiger against the whole field. Those days are over… But he’s in a position — if he’s healthy and his back really isn’t really a problem — he’s in a position that he can still win any tournament.” With four golfers tied for the Honda Classic lead after 72 holes, Russell Henley birdied the first playoff hole to win the tournament. (7:15)
Listen to the John Madden segment live weekday mornings at 8:15 on KCBS All News 740 AM/106.9 FM.