NORTON, Mass. (AP) – Vijay Singh withdrew from the Deutsche Bank Championship on Tuesday because of back spasms, giving up a chance to defend his title in the tournament where he rose to the No. 1 in the world last year.

Singh injured himself playing table tennis with his son, Qass, the tournament said in a statement. The 42-year-old Fijian, a four-time winner this year, was examined by a doctor and will be reevaluated before deciding on future events.

“I have always defended a title on the PGA Tour and I am greatly disappointed I won’t be able to do so in Boston,” Singh said. “This tournament is very special to me and I hope to return to Boston in 2006. I hope they have a great tournament this weekend. I only wish I was there.”

Singh birdied three of the last four holes to win the Deutsche Bank last year, beating Tiger Woods and 2003 winner Adam Scott by three strokes to take the No. 1 ranking Woods had held for a record 264 consecutive weeks. Woods tops the field for the tournament that begins Friday at the TPC of Boston.

AP-ES-08-30-05 1957EDT

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