DORAL, Fla. (AP) — Tiger Woods withdrew from the Cadillac Championship after 11 holes Sunday with soreness in his left Achilles tendon, throwing into doubt his final month heading into the Masters.
Woods was 3-over par in the final round at Doral, 10 shots out of the lead, when he saved par from a bunker on the 11th hole. He hit a 321-yard tee shot on par-5 12th into the fairway, shook hands with Webb Simpson and left in a cart.
“I felt tightness in my left Achilles warming up this morning, and it continued to get progressively worse,” Woods said in a statement. “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 said he would have it evaluated early next week.
Woods is to play in two weeks at Bay Hill, his last tournament before the Masters. Woods is a four-time champion at Augusta National, and with an ordinary game, he still has tied for fourth the last two years.
Doral was his third straight tournament. He lost in the second round of the Match Play Championship, then shot 62 to tie for second a week ago at the Honda Classic. When asked after the third round Saturday at Doral how is body was holding up through this stretch, he replied, “It feels great.”
Steve Stricker played with him in the third round Saturday and said he didn’t notice anything out of the ordinary.
“He always walks with a limp a little bit,” Stricker said. “I noticed it a little bit again. I thought maybe that’s something he always has, like a habit.”
Woods changed shoes at the turn and was lifting his left leg, slightly flexing his ankle. His limp became more pronounced, especially after he pulled his second shot on the par-5 10th, leading to bogey. The limp grew worse, and moments later, Woods was gone.
It’s the third time in three years that Woods has withdrawn from a tournament. The most recent was at The Players Championship last May, when he hobbled off the TPC Sawgrass after a 42 on the opening nine holes.
He then took three months off to let his left leg fully heal, returning at the Bridgestone Invitational. Woods said he wanted to make sure he didn’t come back until he knew there would be no more issues with his leg. Since then, he has been able to practice more and adjust to swing changes, and from tee-to-green his golf has looked solid.
Woods has had four surgeries on his left knee dating to when he was at Stanford. The most significant was in June 2008, when he had reconstructive surgery to repair ligaments just a week after winning the U.S. Open for his 14th major. Woods has not won a major since then, and he has missed four majors because of injuries.
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