And yet, three tournaments in, the back problems surfaced again and would appear still be an issue. Woods is off to the worst start of his career, with a tie for 80th at the Farmers Insurance Open, a tie for 41st at the Dubai Desert Classic, the withdrawal from the Honda Classic and for 25th at Doral.
The Bay Hill event was expected to be his last tournament prior to the Masters, which begins in three weeks, on April 10. In each of his four Masters victories -- the last in 2005 -- Woods won at least once prior to getting to Augusta National.
The only time Woods played less going into the Masters was in 2010, when he made his first start at the Masters and tied for fourth just months after his off-the-course scandal shocked the golf world. In 2009, Woods played three times prior to the Masters and tied for sixth.