Monday Scorecard: Tiger's neck scare, Rory's Sunday struggles
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"Monday Scorecard" is a look back at the biggest stories from the golf world over the past seven days. Warning: Story contains coarse language.

Tiger's neck scare

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It's best to consider Tiger Woods withdrawing from the Arnold Palmer Invitational last week as a reality check.

When the 43-year-old pulled out of Bay Hill - an event he's won a record eight times - there was obvious concern around the sports world. The words "Tiger" and "injury" bring back some dark times that many fans had erased from their memories thanks to his remarkable 2018 comeback season.

But instead of immediately assuming the worst - or taking Paul Azinger's word that the neck issue was "serious" - remember Woods' age and what his body's been through over the past few years.

He's not going to feel 100 percent all the time, and that's okay. Also, take solace in the fact that Tiger is learning how to take care of his aging body. Withdrawing as a precaution instead of playing through the injury, as he's done numerous times throughout his career, is a positive sign of maturity.

And considering it now appears Tiger will be ready for the Players Championship this week, it'll be fun to look back at this injury scare and laugh at the initial reactions - maybe even while he's slipping on his fifth green jacket.

Score: Par. It sucks Tiger's dealing with a neck strain, which is perhaps the same issue he endured during the 2018 Open Championship. But soreness and minor injuries are things fans will have to accept with this latest, older, version of Tiger.

Rory's Sunday struggles continue

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Rory McIlroy and Sundays have not been getting along in the past few years, especially when he finds himself in the final group. Since 2016, and including this past week's Arnold Palmer Invitational, McIlroy's played in the last pairing 11 times with only one win to show for it. His scoring average in those rounds is slightly over 71, according to Sporting Life's Ben Coley.

If you're a Rory believer, the silver lining is that he continues to put himself in great positions to win golf tournaments. He's already been in the final group three times in 2019, which included running into a buzzsaw in Dustin Johnson at the WGC-Mexico Championship, where he lost by five to DJ but was also five strokes clear of the rest of the field.

McIlroy is going to win soon - that's obvious. He's playing some of the most consistent golf of his career, with five straight finishes inside the top six. Plus, few golfers can provide the jaw-dropping highlights he's producing on a weekly basis. Case in point:

Score: Par. An all-too-common score for Rory on Sundays. His win will come, perhaps this week at the Players Championship, as long as he's heading into the final round chasing the leaders.

Day's eyebrow-raising withdraw

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Like Tiger, Jason Day withdrew from Bay Hill, except the Aussie played six holes before bowing out. And there were other strange aspects to his situation.

For starters, Day teed off knowing he was less than 100 percent and without playing a single practice round beforehand. He said afterward he'd underwent an MRI that revealed a tear in his lower back and that he "couldn't really walk" when he woke up the previous Sunday, according to Will Gray of Golf Channel.

With that in mind, two main issues stem from Day's withdrawal.

First, as the PGA Tour begins to open its doors to gambling and daily fantasy sports (DFS), the lack of injury reporting is concerning. As it stands now, players aren't obligated to say anything about lingering health issues, which could create problems in the future. Sportsbooks and bettors require this type of information to set lines and make better decisions. A lot of money could have been made had someone known about Day's back issue while oddsmakers were left in the dark. Additionally, bettors have the right to know about injuries before putting down hard-earned cash.

Kevin Kisner spoke out about the topic, saying "I don't really give a shit about the DFS guys." But amid the changing demographics of golf viewers (NBC saw a viewership increase of 66 percent for people aged 25-54 from 2017 to 2018), players who share Kisner's opinion should really start caring.

The second issue is that Day's attempt to give it a go at Bay Hill ultimately took a spot away from another player. Yes, as a former champion Day earned every right to try and play through his injury, but the potential for this practice to trickle down on Tour is worrisome. With no penalty for withdrawing due to a known injury (one that's not suffered during that specific round), what's stopping a fringe top-125 golfer who's dealing with a minor ailment from withdrawing after a few holes? This tactic could be used to prevent a similar-level competitor (the first alternate) from gaining crucial FedEx Cup points over them, which are needed to stay inside the top 125 and retain a PGA Tour card for the next season.

Score: Bogey. Day doesn't look great in this scenario. He was even spotted the day after he withdrew at Disneyworld with his family. It's only a matter of time until PGA Tour injury reports are implemented.

USGA backpedals

For what seems like the first time all season, there wasn't a single rules infraction last week. Call it a miracle.

However, there was a bit of carryover from Justin Thomas' feud with golf's governing body from the week before, as the USGA retracted its accusation regarding numerous canceled meetings by JT.

Hopefully, this act of damage control after publicly berating one of the game's elite players puts an end to the recurring rules discussion.

Score: Bogey. It's sad to see the USGA fold like a cheap suit. Stand your ground!

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Monday Scorecard: Tiger's neck scare, Rory's Sunday struggles
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