It was no secret Tiger Woods played the U.S. Open in pain. His left arm was clearly agitated as he grimaced his way to a mediocre finish last week at Merion.
Last year at the AT&T National, the tournament he hosts at Congressional Country Club, he won with ease and passed Jack Nicklaus for second in all-time PGA Tour career wins — but we all know Woods only cares about leapfrogging Nicklaus in majors. This time around, he will be watching from the sidelines, according to an announcement on Tuesday via his website, TigerWoods.com:
“I was examined after I returned home from the U.S. Open, and the doctors determined I have a left elbow strain,” Woods said.
“I have been advised to take a few weeks off, rest and undergo treatment. I’ll be ready to go for the British Open, and I’m looking forward to playing at Muirfield. I would like to extend my regrets to AT&T, our sponsors and the fans in the Washington, D.C., area. The AT&T National means a lot to me and my foundation. It’s especially difficult not defending at my own tournament. It’s going to be a great event, and I look forward to being there to provide my support.”
Woods suffered some minor discomfort prior to Merion, but aggravated the area last week.
Tiger’s brittle body has plagued him almost all of his career — from his left knee to his Achilles, and now his elbow.
His recent performance in the last few events raises questions on how he’ll fare going forward. After he won four regular PGA Tour events, it seemed that Woods was right back where he left off before he hit a fire hydrant outside of his home and his world came tumbling down. Now, with two majors remaining in the 2013 season, it’s hard not to wonder if he’ll even be healthy enough to compete, let alone win that elusive 15th major or if he’ll have to wait another year for his next chance.
Tiger plans to return for the Open Championship at Muirfield held July 18-21. When the Open was last held there in 2002, bad weather blew in for the third round and Woods shot 81, his highest score as a professional.