Tiger Woods announced Wednesday that his persistent leg injuries will prevent him from playing in his own tournament next week, the latest cancellation that puts the remainder of his season in doubt.
Woods pulled out of the AT&T National — the regular Washington stop on the PGA Tour that has been rerouted to suburban Philadelphia for two years — citing “Doctor’s orders” on his Twitter account. Because of injuries to his left leg and Achilles’ tendon, Woods has not completed a tournament since the Masters in early April. Last week, he missed the U.S. Open for the first time since 1994.
Woods’s appearance in the tournament — played this year and last at Aronimink Golf Club in Newtown Square, Pa. while Congressional Country Club first overhauled its greens and then hosted the Open — would normally mark his one competitive bit of preparation between the U.S. and British Opens.
Should Woods indeed play in the British Open July 14-17 at Royal St. George’s, he will do so with just nine holes of tournament play since the Masters. He withdrew midway through the first round of the Players Championship in May when the injuries, which he said originally occurred on one awkward swing during the third round of the Masters, flared up.
Woods offered no clarity on his recovery Tuesday. In his last public remarks — at a news conference May 24 — he said he hadn’t yet hit balls since the Players, and he still regularly wore a walking boot. He is scheduled to appear at a news conference at Aronimink next Tuesday and participate in some of the ceremonies prior to the AT&T National, which benefits his foundation.
Woods, 35, hasn’t played what he would consider a full tournament schedule the past four years. In 2008, he was out following the U.S. Open after reconstructive surgery on his left knee. The recovery extended into the early part of 2009.
Last year, he sat out everything prior to the Masters in the fallout from a sex scandal that eventually led to his divorce. This season, he has skipped or withdrawn from five tournaments in which he would normally play — the Wells Fargo Championship, the Players, the Memorial, the U.S. Open and the AT&T National.
Woods hasn’t won a tournament of any kind since November 2009, just before the revelation of his personal problems.
The AT&T National is due to return to Congressional in 2012 and be held there through 2014. The club holds a three-year option to bring the event back from 2015-17; a vote is scheduled after the 2013 event.
Tickets to this year’s event, which runs June 30-July 3, are free to fans with a driver’s license from the District, Maryland or Virginia.