Woods had said earlier this year in Dubai that he spent the majority of his offseason working on his physical strength, at the expense of neglecting his game. He opened the year by missing the 54-hole cut at Torrey Pines (where he is an eight-time winner), and then tying for 41st in the Dubai Desert Classic.
The Honda Classic was his first tournament in a month, and he didn't make it to the finish line.
"If you're hurting, you're hurting," Guthrie said. "You don't need to risk injuring yourself even more. He's had his share of problems with injuries. There's no reason for him to chance it if he's really hurting."
This was the fourth time Woods has withdrawn from a tournament since returning from the chaos in his personal life at the end of 2009. He withdrew from The Players Championship in consecutive years, once in the final round because of a bulging disk, and then after nine holes in 2011 with a leg injury. He left in the final round at Doral in 2012 because of tightness in his Achilles tendon.
Two years ago at Doral, Woods was driven in a cart to the parking lot, and NBC Sports showed footage of his Mercedes-Benz driving out of the Miami resort toward his home about an hour north in Jupiter. This time, police blocked the media from entering the players' parking lot. Woods was seen getting out of a white passenger van with his mother and other members of his group.
It was the second time the No. 1 player in the world walked out in the middle of the Honda Classic. A year ago, McIlroy quit after 26 holes because of what he said was a sore wisdom tooth. He later said the frustration of a poor start to the year got the best of him.