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Spasms force Tiger Woods to back out of news conference

Tiger Woods’ back problems have forced him to back out of a news conference

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Woods withdrew from the Dubai Open on Feb. 3 due to back spasms, and they also caused him to pull out of this week’s Genesis Open. A question-and-answer session with the media scheduled for Tuesday was delayed for 24 hours, and then was canceled altogether, ESPN reported. His agent, Mark Steinberg, said late Tuesday the 14-time major champion was skipping the news conference for “precautionary reasons.” 

“After receiving daily treatment the last several days on his ongoing back spasms, Tiger Woods has again been advised by doctors to limit all activities and will not hold a press conference Wednesday,’’ Greg Bell, a member of the tournament’s PR team, said in a statement.

Woods, 41, withdrew from the event on Friday. The tournament is being run by the Tiger Woods Foundation. Woods traveled to California over the weekend, Steinberg said, in an effort to take part in foundation and tournament activities. 

Woods has had back surgery three times. He returned to the PGA Tour in January after an 18-month layoff and shot rounds of 76-72 to miss the cut at the Farmer Insurance Open at Torrey Pines for the first time in his career at that course. He withdrew from the Dubai tournament, an event he has won twice, after posting an opening-round 77. 

Jason Day, the world’s top ranked golfer, told USA Today that Woods was facing a “double-edged sword.”

“He has to come out and play and play tournament golf,’’ Day said Tuesday. “But you have to watch also your back and make sure that's healthy, because you have to play golf to get tournament ready and get the competitive rounds under your belt and get those juices flowing again. But also, in the same regard, (what) you have to be wary of is (whether) your back (is) 100 percent.’’

Woods, who has won 79 PGA Tour events, began having back woes toward the end of the 2013 season, when he won five tournaments. He had his first back surgery in March 2014 and returned three months later. He played in five tournaments in 2014 and 11 times in 2015 before being shut down by surgeries in September and October of that year.

"He is just having a hard time getting these spasms to calm down,'' Steinberg told ESPN.”And he's working on that on an hourly basis. He's got personnel working with him to help pacify that."

Golfer sues course, claims he was hit by portable toilet

Golfers deal with many hazards on the course — water, trees and sand traps, to name a few. But an Illinois man said he never expected a portable toilet to affect his game or his well-being, and he has filed a lawsuit for some relief.

 

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Brian Berg claims he was hit and seriously injured by a porta-potty that was being hauled by a forklift driver while he played a round at a suburban Chicago course in August, the Chicago Sun-Times reported. 

 

In a lawsuit filed Wednesday in Cook County Circuit Court, Berg said he was watching his 6-iron approach shot to the seventh green at the Fox Run Golf Links in Elk Grove Village on Aug. 11. According to the lawsuit, he alleges that a course employee, operating a forklift that was carrying a portable toilet, was driving "blind" on a golf cart path and the potty "completely obscured his view," hitting Berg from behind 

 

After Berg was knocked to the ground by the "initial blow," the forklift did not stop, causing him to suffer an injured shoulder, a cut chin, a cracked rib, a bruised bicep and a "large, deep bruise to his leg," the lawsuit claims. Berg also claims he was knocked unconscious by the force of the forklift's blow. 

 

Berg filed suit against the Elk Grove Park District, which owns and operates the Fox Run course, and the forklift operator. He is seeking more than $50,000 in damages and alleges in the lawsuit that the worker was driving "with complete and utter indifference to the probability that a golfer would be in the path of a porta-potty." He also alleged that the golf course "uses unsafe means and methods of transporting toilets."

 

Officials did not immediately respond to requests for comment, the Sun-Times said.

Notable sports deaths in 2016

You can now play golf at Turner Field

Atlanta's Turner Field may no longer be a baseball stadium after Sunday, but it still has life – as a golf course.

Stadiumlinks will turn Turner Field into a nine-hole course that will stretch over 1,000-plus yards of the concourses and field.

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Registration is open for the three-day event that begins Oct. 14. Participants must register as a twosome or foursome, with each round costing $60 per person.

The San Diego Padres partnered with Callaway Golf last year to turn Petco Park into a golf course. This is what that course looked like:

>> Watch the video here

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There will be a cash purse of $1,000 awarded to the top three scores and a $100 cash prize awarded for any hole-in-one.

The Braves closed down Turner Field Sunday with a win over the Detroit Tigers. The celebration included a number of Hall of Fame Braves participating in on-field festivities.

The Braves will move to SunTrust Park in Cobb County for the 2017 season next April.

Fans pay tribute to Arnold Palmer at Ryder Cup

As the Ryder Cup begins Friday, golf fans continue to pay tribute to the memory of Arnold Palmer, who died Sunday in Pittsburgh at age 87.

At Hazeltine National Golf Course, two giant posters outside the merchandise tent give fans a chance to write a message to “The King.”

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The PGA of America put up the posters as a way to give fans a way to interact with the legend.

The posters measure 12 feet by 12 feet. One shows a young Palmer following through on his golf swing, while the other one shows him reading a putt. The posters display Palmer’s distinctive signature and invites fans to “Please Pay Tribute to Mr. Palmer.”

The left side of the poster says “In Memory, 1929-2016.”

Wednesday afternoon, spectators were signing the posters and writing messages to their idol. Other fans snapped photos with their cellphones.

Palmer competed in six Ryder Cups and was a non-playing captain in the 1975 event. He was a playing member in 1961, ’63 (when was the playing captain), ’65, ’67, ’71 and ’73.

He won 62 PGA Tour events and seven major titles during his professional career.

Fan backs up Ryders Cup trash talk by making putt PGA stars couldn’t

A fan at the Ryder Cup won a spot in the Heckler’s Hall of Fame by nailing a putt Rory McIlroy and Andy Sullivan could not during a practice round Thursday.

A video shows the heckler making jokes as he practices his putt before hitting the ball. 

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The crowd erupts with cheers and applause as the ball goes in the hole and the heckler pumps his fists in the air.

This is enough to get even Allen Iverson excited about practice.

Whatever he does with that $100, it probably won’t be spent on a drink anywhere golfers hang out.

Sports world pays tribute to Arnold Palmer, dead at 87

Arnold Palmer, one of the greatest golfers who ever lived, passed away at the age of 87 on Sunday night.

>> Golf legend Arnold Palmer dead at 87

>> PHOTOS: Remembering Arnold Palmer

>> PHOTOS: Notable deaths in 2016

>> More Arnold Palmer news

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The sports world, stunned by his passing, expressed its sadness with heartfelt messages on social media. 

>> Click here or scroll down to see what people were saying

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Photos: Remembering Arnold Palmer

Golf legend Arnold Palmer dead at 87

Tiger Woods plans his return to the PGA

Tiger Woods has named the tournament where he hopes to begin a comeback.

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The former No. 1 golfer in the world hasn't played a PGA tournament in over a year.

But he wrote Wednesday that his goal is to play in the Safeway Open in mid-October, which marks the beginning of the next PGA season.

He also said he aims to play in a tournament in November and another in December.

Woods has been trying to find his game again after undergoing multiple back surgeries in 2015.

"My rehabilitation is to the point where I'm comfortable making plans, but I still have work to do," he wrote on his website.

Woods' return could be welcome news for the PGA, which has faced the challenge of replacing the sport's most recognizable face.

Major tournaments have staggered in ratings when Woods was absent.

Coincidentally, the last PGA tournament in which Woods played in August 2015 got a huge ratings spike when he briefly led the field.

Woods is currently ranked No. 711 in the world.

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