Back trouble casts doubt over Woods playing at Open

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The Independent Online

Now he has an injury on top of his personal woes, there must be doubt whether Tiger Woods will make the trips across the Atlantic for July's Open Championship and October's Ryder Cup. A scan this week will reveal whether Woods – still world No 1 after Phil Mickelson failed to win the Players' Championship – has a simple neck strain or a more worrying bulging disc in his upper back.

The fact Woods quit on the seventh hole of his final round at Sawgrass on Sunday shows there is now a limit to what he is prepared to endure. And long journeys on planes, even on luxury executive ones, may not be what the doctor orders, especially if there is the possibility of the journey being made longer by volcanic dust clouds.

Woods has until 27 May to enter for St Andrews, the course on which he won by eight strokes in 2000 and by five in 2005, but he can still pull out after that if he does not want to take any risks with his health.