Injured Woods in doubt for Masters
On Sunday, for the third time in three years, Tiger Woods has withdrawn from a tournament due to injury.
It is the same left Achilles tendon problem that sidelined him for three months last summer.
Tiger Woods (Credit: Anthony Powter)
Woods, who limped off Doral’s Blue Monster after hitting his drive on the 12th hole in the final round of the WGC-Cadillac Championship, said in a statement that he would have the troublesome tendon “evaluated sometime early in the week.”
The injury has placing Woods in doubt for next month’s Masters and in the longer term, his dream of passing Jack Nicklaus’ record of 18 majors.
“I felt tightness in my left Achilles warming up this morning and it continued to get progressively worse,” said Woods.
“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.”
It might turn out to be just a niggle, however rest over the ensuring days will only tell. Woods is scheduled to play next week at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, his final warm-up tournament before the Masters.
But at 36 and with a history of not being fit enough to play an uninterrupted schedule in five years it certainly does not look good for the 14-time Major winner, particularly with a total of four surgeries on a reconstructed left knee and both Achilles.
With questions being asked about whether his body will allow him to win again, let alone another five more majors, the focus has returned to Woods’ injury woes and that illusive “W”.
Woods’ last PGA Tour win was at the 2009 BMW Championship. He is now zero wins for his last twenty-six PGA Tour starts – a long way shy of his previous average of a one title from every ten starts.
In the two years and ten months between August of 1999 and June of 2002 he won 22 times incuding seven majors, three World Golf Championships and a Players Championship.
At present, no one knows how serious the injury is and it is hoped his actions on Sunday were just precautionary.
Injuries with the Achilles tendon are problematic. Even in mild cases, it can take weeks and even months of rest for the tendon to repair itself.
Woods has to be in doubt for the Arnold Palmer Invitational and possibly the Masters, which is just four weeks away – yet many fear he’s also in doubt for the longer term.