Woods takes 3rd straight week off by skipping Bay Hill

Sports

Tiger Woods tees off on the ninth hole during the third round of the Genesis Invitational golf tournament at Riviera Country Club, Saturday, Feb. 15, 2020, in the Pacific Palisades area of Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ryan Kang)

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ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Tiger Woods is taking a third straight week off by deciding against playing the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill.

Woods hasn’t played since his 76-77 weekend at Riviera, where he finished 68th in the Genesis Invitational while serving as tournament host. He decided against the World Golf Championship in Mexico City the following week, saying his back was stiff and he needed time to rest and train.

Woods is an eight-time winner at Bay Hill. He has played it only once since his last Arnold Palmer Invitational victory in 2013, including four straight years while going through surgeries on his lower back.

He tied for fifth, eight shots behind Rory McIlroy, when he last played in 2018.

Brooks Koepka committed to Bay Hill on Friday. He missed the cut at the Honda Classic and said he plans to play the next four weeks through the Match Play in Texas. That would give him a week off before the Masters. Koepka is playing Bay Hill for the second straight year. He has missed the cut the last two times.

McIlroy leads the field as a past champion and the No. 1 player in the world. McIlroy is among three players from the top 10 who are playing. The other is Patrick Reed, coming off a victory in the Mexico Championship.

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