Tiger Woods out of Dubai Desert Classic with "bad back''"

"At the end it was very, very dark, I'll tell you that", Garcia said. "I was just trying to hit shots and I wasn't doing a very good job", the two-time Desert Classic victor said after his first round.

Now Woods, 41 and hands down the best golfer of his generation with 79 tour wins and 14 major titles, is trying to make a comeback from three back "procedures" in the last few years.

The creaking American, now ranked 666th after his long injury layoff, trailed Spain's early leader Sergio Garcia by 12 shots and with only three players below him on the leaderboard among the morning starters.

Woods was the headline attraction at the tournament, and was involved in numerous promotions for the event.

The optimism surrounding his return after almost 18 months was soon replaced by reality when he shot an opening-round 76 at Torrey Pines and followed with a par 72.

Meanwhile the second round in Dubai was abandoned because of high winds which blew trees over and whipped sand across the course.

While most of us were sleeping here in the states, Tiger Woods withdrew from yet another tournament due to his back. "He might play another 10 years, but I just don't see it if he doesn't change his golf swing".

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"I think I was exhausted physically and mentally. But he wanted to be here and just feels bad he can't finish it out today".

Woods' first competitive rounds after his lengthy rehab were at the Hero World Challenge in December when he finished 15 in an 18-man field.

Stenson came up with a five-under for a 13-under, while Englishman Ian Poulter was tied third with playing partner Thailand's Prom Meesawat after both carded bogey-free rounds.

Steinberg said Woods remains optimistic he will be able to play in LA in two weeks. "He says it's not the nerve, but back spasm, and he can't get the spasms to calm down".

"The fact that he feels that it's not the nerve pain, that's very encouraging for him", Steinberg said.

"Spasms are a amusing thing; I'm certainly no doctor, but they come and go", Steinberg said. While his play struggled at Torrey Pines, we attributed that to the pace of play, the cooler temperatures, and it being his first official PGA Tour start back.

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