Tiger Woods, in a 4-sentence statement, explains his stunning Genesis exit

Tiger Woods, Pete Dachisen

Tiger Woods and rules official Pete Dachisen on Friday at Riviera Country Club.

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Tiger Woods says he’s feeling better. He says he’s resting. 

And he also confirmed via a Saturday statement what had been speculated a day earlier, when he stunningly withdrew from the Genesis Invitational.

He has influenza. 

The statement over his social channels was just four sentences, and it was unclear if he, as the tournament host, would try to return to the Genesis during Sunday’s final round. The message was also the latest news in a Woods whirlwind. 

He’d been making his first PGA Tour start since last April, when he withdrew from the Masters, and he shot an up-and-down, one-over 72 during Thursday’s first round. He made five birdies. He made six bogeys. He shanked once. Afterward, he blamed the mishit on a back spasm. 

Friday, during the Genesis’ second round, he opened with a birdie. But playing partner Gary Woodland later admitted Woods looked off. There were reports that he took multiple bathroom stops. By the 7th hole, he was done, and PGA Tour rules official Pete Dachisen carted him back to the clubhouse.

Uncertainty followed. Mark Dusbabek told Golf Channel viewers that the WD was not due to his back, but because of an illness. An ambulance and two fire trucks appeared at Riviera. Medical professionals entered and exited the clubhouse every few minutes. After a while, the fire trucks and ambulance left. 

They were followed later by Woods. At about 3:40 p.m. local time, Woods exited, driven away by an official in a red Genesis coupe.

Rob McNamara, a longtime Woods confidante, released this question-and-answer statement via the PGA Tour communications team:

tiger woods grimaces at genesis invitational in red striped shirt
Tiger Woods’ manager explains mysterious Riviera WD, ambulance chaos
By: James Colgan

Question: “With the WD, was it purely illness? Was it — just explain it.” 

McNamara: “Yeah. So he started feeling some flu-like symptoms last night. Woke up this morning, they were worse than the night previous. He had a little bit of a fever and that, and was better during the warm-up, but then when he got out there and was walking and playing, he started feeling dizzy. Ultimately the doctors are saying he’s got some — potentially some type of flu and that he was dehydrated. He’s been treated with an IV bag and he’s doing much, much better and he’ll be released on his own here soon.” 

Question “Just to confirm, with all the EMT trucks, you know, everybody, the personnel here, everybody was thinking there was a lot of seriousness going on. So nothing structural as far as back or ankle or …” 

McNamara: “Correct, correct. Not physical at all; his back’s fine. It was all medical illness, dehydration, which is now the symptoms are reversing themselves now that he’s had an IV.”

After his round, Woodland said Woods didn’t look “right.”

“He was quieter,” Woodland said. “Obviously it’s cut day, we’re all trying to play well, especially the whole group’s trying to focus and pick ourselves up and play well. Yeah, it was — I feel bad for him, he wasn’t right. He definitely was trying to fight through it and I hope he’s all right.”

Saturday, Woods said he was. At 10:15 a.m. local time, his social media accounts shared this:

“I would like to confirm that I had to withdraw from @thegenesisinv due to illness, which we now know is influenza. I am resting and feeling better. Good luck to the players this weekend. I’m disappointed to not be there and want to thank @GenesisUSA and all the fans for the support.”

Nick Piastowski

Nick Piastowski

Golf.com Editor

Nick Piastowski is a Senior Editor at Golf.com and Golf Magazine. In his role, he is responsible for editing, writing and developing stories across the golf space. And when he’s not writing about ways to hit the golf ball farther and straighter, the Milwaukee native is probably playing the game, hitting the ball left, right and short, and drinking a cold beer to wash away his score. You can reach out to him about any of these topics — his stories, his game or his beers — at nick.piastowski@golf.com.