Just how badly hurt is Tiger Woods?
He withdrew from the WGC-Cadillac Championship on Sunday because of what he said was an increasingly sore left Achilles.
Woods appeared to be fine until he made the turn at 10 on Sunday. He changed from his usual black Sunday shoes to his white shoes (the ones that look like Jimmy’s from the “Seinfeld” episode). The change didn’t help and, by 12, he was in visible pain.
“It looked like he made a swing on 12 that really hurt,” Webb Simpson, who played with Woods. “But he didn't say a whole lot. He just said he's got to be done. It looked like he was in some pain ... maybe his heel was bothering him, something with his foot. I don't think it's anything serious, but we didn't talk or anything so I'm not sure exactly what it was.”
Woods, who has had four surgeries on his left knee missed four months of play last year when he hurt the knee and Achilles in the Masters. Paul Tesori, Simpson’s caddie, said he saw a problem as early as the fourth hole and added that Joe LaCava, Woods’s caddie, said the Achilles had “puffed up.”
Woods, 36, left the course without saying a word. In a statement issued shortly after his departure, he said that he’d have the “Achilles evaluated sometime early [this] week.”
“I felt tightness in my left Achilles warming up this morning, and it continued to get progressively worse,” Woods’s statement said. “After hitting my tee shot at 12, I decided it was necessary to withdraw. In the past, I may have tried to continue to play, but this time, I decided to do what I thought was necessary.”
Rory McIlroy was in the group behind Woods at Doral and McIlroy initially thought he was merely seeking a restroom when he saw Woods walk off the course in a scene that was captured surreally by the MetLife blimp. Earlier in the day, Woods had said he “felt great.” Now, with the Masters just over three weeks away, there’s a question about how well he’ll hold up.
“It's a shame because he looked like he was coming out this year, swinging it really well, playing good, getting himself into contention,” McIlroy said. “It's probably just precautionary, but I really hope he's healthy for the Masters, because obviously it would be a great week with him there.”
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