Struggling Tiger Woods withdraws from tournament with back problems

    Story highlights

    • Former world No.1 blames weather delays for discomfort
    • He was two over par when forced out after 11 holes in San Diego
    • Tournament was his second PGA event of season after 2014 back surgery
    • Setback follows worst round of his professional career last week

    (CNN)Tiger Woods' season took a turn for the worse when he was forced to withdraw from the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines just 11 holes into his first round on Thursday.

    A 14-times major tournament winner, Woods pulled out of the San Diego event when back spasms became such a problem that playing partner Billy Horschel had to pick up his tee for him on several occasions.
      The struggling 39-year-old was making his second PGA start of 2015 and had been on two over par when forced out of the event. Last year, Woods underwent surgery on a pinched nerve.
      His first start, at the Waste Management Phoenix Open last week, saw him chalk up the worst score of his professional life in the 1,267th round of his career.
      Former world No.1 Woods -- now at 56 in the standings -- recorded an 11-over-par 82 at TPC Scottsdale in Arizona.
      That meant he missed the cut, finishing bottom of a field of 132 as his short game fell apart and he racked up six bogeys, two double bogeys, a triple bogey and two birdies.
      The PGA tour website quoted him as saying that a delay to the start of his round in San Diego, caused by foggy weather, had been behind the back problems that forced him out.
      "My glutes are shutting off," explained Woods. "Then they don't activate and then, hence, it [pain] goes into my lower back.
      "I tried to activate my glutes as best I could, in between, but they never stayed activated.
      "I had a good warm-up session [before the weather delay], but then we stood out here, I got cold and everything started deactivating again.
      "It's frustrating that I just can't stay activated. That's just kind of the way it is."
      Horschel said he had become aware of Woods' increasing discomfort as the round progressed, adding: "If I didn't see it on 10, I saw it on 11. Then I asked him when I walked off the 12th tee: 'Back hurting you again?' He said: 'Spasms.'"
      What happened in San Diego will inevitably raise questions about where Woods goes from here as one of the game's all-time greats battles for full fitness and form.
      Horschel expressed his sympathy, saying: "It's unfortunate, because I consider him a friend and I want to see him get back to his level of play that we all know he can.
      "If he can just stay healthy and be able to work on it, I think we would see the results."
      In November, Woods -- who has not won a major since 2008 -- was in the spotlight for his angry response to a parody interview by veteran Golf Digest writer Dan Jenkins.
      The second golf course created by his design business is due to open at Bluejack National, Texas, later this year.
      In an exclusive interview, he told CNN: "My goal is to design a limited number of distinct and memorable golf courses."