Palmer expects ailing Tiger to be 'dangerous'

ANDREW BOTH
Last updated 12:45 21/03/2014

Relevant offers

Golf

Danny Lee shoots up FedEx Cup standings with first top 10 Billy Horschel's wife Brittany reveals battle with alcoholism Lydia Ko maintains No 1 world ranking despite poor finish in Virginia Sam Jones saves his longest drives until last at North Island champs Jason Day surges into title hunt in Texas Lydia Ko set to hold onto No 1 ranking after steady third round NZ's Lydia Ko tied for third at halfway stage of LPGA's Kingsmill Championship Lydia Ko holds early upper hand over rivals for No 1 ranking at latest LPGA Tour event Golf's silly rules force US player to go diving for his ball in a pond Lydia Ko getting close to her best as she chases first win of the year

Arnold Palmer says Tiger Woods will be "dangerous" at next month's Masters but acknowledged that doubts surround the health of the 14-times major champion.

Woods withdrew from this week's Arnold Palmer Invitational in Florida, a tournament he has won a mind-boggling eight times, citing back spasms that plagued him in the two tournaments he played earlier in March.

"I've talked to him (and) he was a little worried about how quick he can recover from this," Palmer, who hosts this week's event at Orlando's Bay Hill Golf Club, told Golf Channel.

"But once you have a problem like that and have to withdraw, there's always that doubt whether you can get it back where you want it.

"I would say there's a good chance he'll be 100 percent for Augusta, but you never know."

Golf Week, citing an unnamed source, said on its website that Woods has been diagnosed with a bulging disc in his back. The player has not commented on the report.

World number one Woods is not expected to play before the April 10-13 Masters at Augusta National, which means he will enter the year's first major without having competed in over a month.

Palmer, affectionately nicknamed 'The King' and a winner of 62 PGA Tour titles in his illustrious career, believes Woods would have been helped by a pre-Masters gallop at a course he has dominated.

"He'll be there and he'll be dangerous whatever happens (but) playing Bay Hill would have helped him because he likes the golf course," said Palmer, 84.

"He can swing where he knows he wants the ball to go and that's important. It gives him the confidence he would need for Augusta."

Woods has won the Masters four times, but not since 2005, though he has been in contention several times.

The 38-year-old has made no secret of his desire to win more majors than anyone in history. He is four shy of the record 18 majors won by Jack Nicklaus.

Ad Feedback

- Fairfax Media

Special offers
Opinion poll

If she is able to, when do you expect Lydia Ko to win her first major?

Next year, she's so close

She's still working towards it, within three years

It may be longer than we think, within five years

The expectation might be too much, maybe never

Vote Result

Related story: (See story)

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content