Tiger Undergoes Arthroscopic Knee Surgery

By Associated PressApril 15, 2008, 4:00 pm
The U.S. Open figured to be the closest to a sure thing for Tiger Woods in the majors this year, but maybe not anymore.
 
Two days after his quest for a Grand Slam fizzled at the Masters, Woods had arthroscopic surgery on his left knee for the second time in five years and will miss at least four weeks while he recovers.
 
The announcement, which Woods made Tuesday night on his Web site, was a surprise to everyone except those around him.
 
Hes been having a lot of trouble, swing coach Hank Haney said. He doesnt talk about stuff like that. He doesnt want to use excuses, you know? I dont think it affected his play. It affected his practice a little bit.
 
The surgery was performed in Park City, Utah, by Thomas Rosenberg, who also operated on Woods left knee in December 2002. Woods also had surgery in 1994 on his left knee to remove a benign tumor.
 
I made the decision to deal with the pain and schedule the surgery for after the Masters, Woods said on his Web site. The upside is that I have been through this process before and know how to handle it. I look forward to working through the rehabilitation process and getting back to action as quickly as I can.
 
But he will not be able to defend his title in two weeks at the Wachovia Championship. And he most likely will miss THE PLAYERS Championship the week after, one of only three non-majors he has never missed since turning pro. Provided rehab goes as expected, Woods hopes to return at the Memorial on May 29.
 
The U.S. Open begins June 12 at Torrey Pines, where Woods has won six times in the Buick Invitational. Such is his dominance on the cliffside course north of San Diego that when he opened with a 67 on the South Course this year, a caddie standing behind the 18th green remarked, He just won two tournaments with one round.
 
Indeed, Woods went on to an eight-shot victory in his 2008 debut, the first of four straight victories this year.
 
But it was not necessarily a pain-free affair.
 
Tiger has been experiencing pain in his knee since the middle of last year, and when he had it looked at by his doctors, arthroscopic surgery was recommended, said Mark Steinberg, Woods agent at IMG. Tiger has played through the pain in the past, but knew it would be better for him to have the procedure done as early as possible.
 
Steinberg said the surgery repaired cartilage damage. The 2002 surgery drained fluid from around the anterior cruciate ligament and removed a benign cyst.
 
Woods was limping and wincing toward the end of the 02 season, and it was not surprising to find out he had surgery that kept him out two months, most of that over the holidays.
 
This time, it only made sense upon reviewing the past nine months.
 
Woods stumbled and grimaced ever so slightly at Southern Hills last August in the PGA Championship, when he chipped in for birdie behind the eighth green in the final round and backpedaled for a fist pump. In the final two PGA TOUR events, in Chicago and Atlanta, he occasionally would press his left foot against a cooler, presumably to stretch his knee.
 
But it sure didnt affect his golf, not even at the Masters, where he finished three shots behind Trevor Immelman.
 
He hit 14 greens in regulation on Sunday, Haney said. Hard to say it was the knee.
 
Woods won the Bridgestone Invitational and PGA Championship in consecutive weeks, then tied for second behind Phil Mickelson at the Deutsche Bank Championship. That was his last loss until late March, the longest winning streak of his career, which covered five PGA TOUR events, the Dubai Desert Classic on the European Tour, and his unofficial Target World Challenge in December.
 
I knew he was going to do something this year, Haney said, referring to surgery. I just didnt know when.
 
Woods has a remarkable track record when returning from a long layoff. After the 02 surgery, he won three of his first four events, including an 11-shot victory at Bay Hill.
 
This will be the second time in two years, however, that he missed a chunk of time between the Masters and the U.S. Open. He sat out nine weeks in 2006 to cope with the May death of his father, not returning until the U.S. Open at Winged Foot. He missed the cut for the only time in a major since he turned pro.
 
Torrey Pines is more familiar turf, even if the setup for the U.S. Open will be vastly different. Woods won the Buick Invitational this year for the third straight time, and he also won there as a junior.
 
In the meantime, his absence is a blow to the Wachovia Championship and to THE PLAYERS Championship, regarded as the fifth major.
 
Of course, were disappointed when Tiger is unable to compete in a PGA TOUR event, commissioner Tim Finchem said on the TOURs Web site. There is really never a good time for an athlete'especially one of Tigers caliber'to take weeks off from competition during the season. But his health concerns have to come first.
 
Of greater concern might be the fact Woods has gone through surgery twice on the same knee in five years. He has looked immortal at times on the golf course, already winning 64 times on the PGA Tour and 13 majors, second only to Jack Nicklaus.
 
Could this slow the pursuit?
 
Woods won 30 times and five majors since his last surgery, and Haney expects nothing less.
 
This is something hes already used to, Haney said. He deals with stuff incredibly, like you would expect him to.
 
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    Fleetwood rallies to defend Abu Dhabi title

    By Will GrayJanuary 21, 2018, 12:48 pm

    The 2018 European Tour season has begun just as the 2017 one ended: with Tommy Fleetwood's name atop the standings.

    Facing the most difficult conditions of the week, Fleetwood charged down the stretch to shoot a 7-under 65 in the final round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, good enough for a two-shot win and a successful title defense.

    Abu Dhabi was the start of Fleetwood's resurgence a year ago, the first of two European Tour victories en route to the season-long Race to Dubai title. This time around the Englishman started the final round two shots off the lead but rallied with six birdies over his final nine holes to reclaim the trophy.

    Fleetwood was five shots behind countryman Ross Fisher when he made the turn, but he birdied the par-5 10th and then added four birdies in a five-hole stretch from Nos. 12-16. The decisive shot came on the final hole, when his pitch from the left rough nestled within a few feet of the hole for a closing birdie.

    Fleetwood's 22-under total left him two shots ahead of Fisher and four shots clear of Rory McIlroy and Matthew Fitzpatrick. After entering the week ranked No. 18, Fleetwood is expected to move to at least No. 12 in the world when the new rankings are published.

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    Garcia cruises to five-shot win in Singapore

    By Associated PressJanuary 21, 2018, 12:10 pm

    SINGAPORE - Sergio Garcia played 27 holes on the last day without dropping a shot to win the Singapore Open by five strokes Sunday in an ominous display of his newfound self-belief as he prepares to defend his Masters title.

    Still brimming with confidence after claiming his first major title at Augusta National last year, Garcia started his new season with a runaway victory at the Sentosa Golf Club, finishing at 14-under 270.

    Returning to the course just after dawn to complete his third round after play was suspended on Saturday because of lightning strikes, Garcia finished his last nine holes in 4 under for a round of 66 to take a one-shot lead into the final round.

    With organizers desperate to avert the constant threat of more bad weather and finish the tournament on time, Garcia promptly returned to the first tee shortly after and fired a flawless 3-under 68, cruising to victory with 10 straight pars as his rivals floundered in the stifling humidity.

    ''It may have looked easy, but it wasn't easy. You still have to hit a lot of good shots out there,'' Garcia said. ''It's always great to start with a win, to do it here at this golf course against a good field in Asia on conditions that weren't easy. Hopefully I can ride on this momentum.''

    Garcia's closest rivals at the end were Japan's Satoshi Kodaira (71) and South African Shaun Norris (70). Both birdied the last hole to share second spot but neither was ever close enough on the last day to challenge the leader.


    Full-field scores from the Singapore Open


    ''I could not reach Sergio. I was thinking, 12 or 13 under for the win, but he went beyond that,'' Kodaira said.

    Jazz Janewattananond (71) and his fellow Thai Danthai Bonnma (73) finished equal fourth at 8 under, earning themselves a spot in this year's British Open, while American Sean Crocker, who was given an invitation to the event after turning pro late last year, also won a place at Carnoustie by finishing in a tie for sixth.

    Garcia made just three bogeys in 72 holes and his victory provided the 38-year-old with the 33rd title of his professional career and his sixth on the Asian Tour.

    He has also won three titles in the last 12 months, including the Masters, and his game looks to be in better shape now than it was a year ago.

    He credits the Singapore Open as having played a part in toughening him up for Augusta National because of the steamy conditions and the testing stop-start nature of the tournament, which is regularly stopped because of inclement weather.

    Although he finished tied for 11th in Singapore a year ago, Garcia won the Dubai Desert Classic the next week and was in peak form when he won the Masters two months later.

    "I'm extremely happy with how the week went. It was a tough day and a tough week, with the stopping and going. Fortunately, the weather held on. Still, it was hard to play 27 holes under this heat and I can't wait to get a cold shower,'' Garcia said. ''I came with some good confidence and wishing that I will play well. I hit the ball solid the whole week and didn't miss many shots.''

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    Kelly beats Monty with two-shot swing on final hole

    By Associated PressJanuary 21, 2018, 3:21 am

    KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii – Jerry Kelly made an 18-foot birdie putt on the final hole, Colin Montgomerie missed a 6-footer for par and Kelly turned a one-shot deficit into a victory Saturday in the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

    After Kelly drove it well right into lava rocks on the par-4 16th, leading to bogey and giving Montgomerie the lead, Montgomerie made a mistake with his tee shot on the last, finding a fairway bunker. Montgomerie's approach went over the green and after Kelly converted his birdie, the 54-year-old Scot jammed his par putt well past the hole.


    Full-field scores from the Mitsubishi Electric Championship


    It was the third win on the over-50 tour for the 51-year-old Kelly, who finished tied for 14th last week at the PGA Tour's Sony Open in Honolulu. That gave him confidence as he hopped over to the Big Island for his tournament debut at Hualalai. The limited-field event includes winners from last season, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

    Kelly closed with a 6-under 66 for a three-day total of 18-under 198. Montgomerie shot 69. David Toms shot 67 and finished two shots back, and Miguel Angel Jimenez was another stroke behind after a 66.

    Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, closed with a 70 to finish at 10 under.

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    Rahm manages frustration, two back at CareerBuilder

    By Randall MellJanuary 21, 2018, 1:21 am

    Jon Rahm managed the winds and his frustrations Saturday at the CareerBuilder Challenge to give himself a chance to win his fourth worldwide title in the last year.

    Rahm’s 2-under-par 70 on the PGA West Stadium Course left him two shots off the lead going into the final round.

    “I wasn’t really dealing with the wind that much,” Rahm said of his frustrations. “I was dealing with not being as fluid as I was the last two days.”


    Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


    The world’s No. 3 ranked player opened with a 62 at La Quinta Country Club on Thursday and followed it up with a 67 on Friday at PGA West. He made six birdies and four bogeys on the Stadium Course on Saturday.

    “The first day, everything was outstanding,” Rahm said. “Yesterday, my driver was a little shaky but my irons shots were perfect. Today, my driver was shaky and my irons shots were shaky. On a course like this, it’s punishing, but luckily on the holes where I found the fairway I was able to make birdies.”

    Rahm is projected to move to No. 2 in the world rankings with a finish of sixth or better on Sunday.