Injury forces Tiger Woods to withdraw from tournament
By the CNN Wire Staff
(CNN) — Tiger Woods was forced to withdraw from Sunday’s final round of the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship in Doral, Florida, after suffering an injury to his left leg.
Woods, grimacing after hitting his tee shot on the 12th hole, left the tournament just a day after telling reporters that his injury-plagued body “feels great.”
The American golf star’s participation in the opening major of 2012, April’s Masters at Augusta, is now in doubt.
“I felt tightness in my left Achilles (tendon) warming up this morning, and it continued to get progressively worse,” Woods said in a statement on his website. “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.”
He is scheduled to next play at the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill in Orlando, Florida from March 22-25, but that will depend on how his injury responds to treatment.
“I’ll get my Achilles evaluated sometime early next week,” Woods said on Sunday.
The former world No. 1 has been working to regain his form after a slew of injuries and his highly publicized divorce saw him fall from the top of the rankings to out of the top 50 last year for the first time since 1996. He now ranks at No. 16, as of last week.
Woods, 36, took a three-month hiatus last year as he recuperated from knee and Achilles tendon injuries.
He appeared to be returning to form in recent months, finishing tied for third at the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship in January and winning the Chevron World Challenge event he hosts in December. However, Sunday’s injury calls into question whether Woods, who hasn’t won a major tournament since November 2009, has fully recovered.
Woods limped off the TPC Blue Monster course with his score at three over par for the day, having started the final round right shots behind leader Bubba Watson.
Watson was unable to win his first PGA Tour title since May last year as the American was overhauled by Englishman Justin Rose after a dismal opening nine holes.
Rose carded two-under-par 70 to win by one shot and claim his first WGC title and fourth on the PGA Tour.
Watson could have forced a playoff but missed his birdie attempt at the final hole and signed for a 74, which left him a shot ahead of third-placed world No. 1 Rory McIlroy, who closed with 67.
The 22-year-old Northern Irishman was a shot clear of South Africa’s reigning Masters champion Charl Schwartzel (68) and Sweden’s Peter Hanson (71).