Tiger Woods has withdawn from opening FedEx Cup play-off event. Photo: Mark Lennihan/AP Photo

BERLIN  Tiger Woods has withdrawn from the Northern Trust FedEx play-off event in New Jersey ahead of the second round on Friday, the PGA Tour said.

The Masters champion Woods opened with a disappointing four-over 75 on Thursday and subsequently scratched citing a "mild oblique strain that led to pain and stiffness.

"I went for treatment early Friday morning, but unfortunately I'm still unable to compete," Woods was quoted by the PGA as saying.

"I'd like to thank the New Jersey and New York fans for their support and remain hopeful I can compete next week at the BMW Championship."

Woods won his 15th major title at Augusta earlier this year but the 43-year-old has played a limited schedule since in a bid to stay healthy.

Troy Merritt led the Northern Trust after shooting a course-record 62 around the Liberty National Golf Course.

The second event of the play-offs takes place at Medinah next week and concludes a week later in Atlanta.

Woods withdrawing in New Jersey makes defending the season-ending Tour Championship he won last year an uphill challenge as he would need to move into the top 30 of the play-off rankings to reach the final event.

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## Editorial contacts - Reporting by: Marc Moeller in Berlin - Editing by: Derek Wilson - Tel: +49 30 2852 31472;

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