AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) — Tiger Woods withdrew from the Masters before the resumption of the third round because of an injury Sunday, ending his streak of completing all 72 holes of every tournament he has played at Augusta National as a professional.
The tournament announced about 90 minutes before play began that Woods, who is still hobbled by the effects of the 2021 car accident that nearly cost him his right leg, had withdrawn.
He’d limped through practice rounds early in the week and again during the first and second rounds, but the limp had become more pronounced as the weather worsened.
“I am disappointed to have to WD this morning due to reaggravating my plantar fasciitis,” Woods said on Twitter. “Thank you to the fans and to (at)TheMasters who have shown me so much love and support. Good luck to the players today!”
I am disappointed to have to WD this morning due to reaggravating my plantar fasciitis. Thank you to the fans and to @TheMasters who have shown me so much love and support. Good luck to the players today!
— Tiger Woods (@TigerWoods) April 9, 2023
The five-time champion finished his second round in cold, driving rain Saturday to make the cut on the number at 3-over.
Woods extended his Masters streak to 23 straight and tying Fred Couples and Gary Player for the longest in history.
The 47-year-old Woods headed back out for the start of the third round as temperatures struggled to reach 10 degrees C, and it wound up being a water-logged slog.
Wearing a gray winter hat over a baseball cap, he started on the 10th hole with a bogey, added another at No. 14, and then had back-to-back double bogeys after finding the water on Nos. 15 and 16.
It was the first time Woods has ever had consecutive double bogeys at the Masters.
By the time the horn blew ending play with rain still pouring and puddles beginning to stand at Augusta National, Woods was at 9 over and alone in last place among those that made the cut.
He was 22 shots behind leader Brooks Koepka.
“I’ve always loved this golf course, and I love playing this event,” Woods said after his second round Saturday. “Obviously I’ve missed a couple with some injuries, but I’ve always wanted to play here. I’ve loved it.”
Woods also withdrew before the final round of last year’s PGA Championship with what his agent, Mark Steinberg, described as pain and discomfort in his right foot.
That came hours after the 15-time major champion limped to a 79 at Southern Hills in Tulsa, Okla., in similarly cold and windy weather. He’d shot 69 in the second round.
Woods captured his fifth green jacket in 2019 when he finished one shot ahead of Koepka, Dustin Johnson and Xander Schauffele.
It was his first major win in 11 years and, at age 43, Woods became the second-oldest player to win the Masters after Jack Nicklaus, who was 46 when he won his sixth green jacket in 1986.
Woods was injured in 2021 when his car careened off a suburban Los Angeles road at almost 140 kilometres per hour, crushing his right leg so badly that he said doctors considered amputation.
Asked how much hardware held it together, Woods replied: “A lot.”
Woods recovered and made the cut at the Masters last year before shooting back-to-back 78s on the weekend.
The injuries have forced Woods to play a very limited schedule — the majors and a few select events.
He shot two rounds in the 60s and finished tied for 45th at The Genesis Invitational at Riviera in February, but he skipped Bay Hill and The Players Championship so that he would be healthy and ready for a return to Augusta National.
The question now is whether Woods will play the PGA Championship at Oak Hill in May.
The U.S. Open is at Los Angeles Country Club in June, not far from where Woods grew up, and the British Open is at Royal Liverpool in July.
“Yeah, mobility, it’s not where I would like it,” Woods said. “I’ve said to you guys before, I’m very lucky to have this leg — it’s mine. Yes, it has been altered and there’s some hardware in there, but it’s still mine. It has been tough and will always be tough. The ability and endurance of what my leg will do going forward will never be the same. I understand that.
“That’s why I can’t prepare and play as many tournaments as I like, but that’s my future, and that’s OK. I’m OK with that.”