Tiger to miss Wells Fargo with knee Achilles injuries

By Rex HoggardApril 26, 2011, 9:38 pm
Tiger Woods during the third round of the Masters
Tiger Woods on the 17th hole in the third round of the Masters. (Getty Images)

Tiger Woods will miss next week’s Wells Fargo Championship due to left-knee and Achilles tendon injuries he announced Tuesday on his website.

According to the announcement, Woods suffered “a Grade 1 mild medial collateral ligament sprain to his left knee and a mild strain to his left Achilles tendon while hitting a difficult and awkward second shot” during the third round of the Masters.

Woods tied for fourth at Augusta National but was later evaluated by doctors who advised him to rest the injuries and undergo cold-water therapy as well as soft tissue treatment later this week.

“I personally contacted (Quail Hollow) tournament officials and expressed my regret in not being able to play,' Woods said. 'This is an outstanding event, but I must follow doctors' orders to get better.”

The release said Woods “hopes to be back in a few weeks” and his next likely start would be The Players Championship May 12-15. If he were to miss the PGA Tour’s flagship event it would be another hit for so-called “fifth major,” which is already missing Nos. 1 (Lee Westwood) and 7 (Rory McIlroy) from the field.

Woods won at Quail Hollow in 2007 but missed the cut there last year in his first regular-season event following a high-profile scandal that led to his divorce.

“Tiger did call me and said he was very sorry he couldn’t be here and explained what happened. He loves Charlotte, he just couldn’t be here,” said Kym Hougham, Quail Hollow’s tournament director. “This isn’t the first time this has happened. He was defending champion in 2008 and had his first knee surgery and couldn’t be here. We’d love to have him, but I understand.”

The medial collateral ligament sprain is to the same knee that Woods had surgery on twice in 2008, first after the Masters and then following his U.S. Open victory at Torrey Pines.

“He has a propensity for knee sprains, but the Achilles (injury) is a concern,” said Randy Myers, the director of fitness at Sea Island (Ga.) Resort who works with numerous Tour players. “How do you rebuild your stamina on an injured leg?”

Recovery from the type of injuries Woods said he sustained while hitting his second shot from under the Eisenhower Tree on Augusta National’s 17th hole typically takes from two to three weeks, Myers said.

“The Achilles is a severe injury because your entire body is now out of alignment,” said Myers, whose client Brandt Snedeker won last week’s Heritage following off-season hip surgery. “With the knee injury he knows what to do, he knows what it takes. But the Achilles can very easily be re-injured.”

The announcement adds to an expanding list of injuries for Woods. Along with the knee surgeries in 2008 he withdrew from last year’s Players Championship with a previously undisclosed neck ailment.

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Watch: McIlroy gives Fleetwood a birthday cake

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 19, 2018, 2:58 pm

Tommy Fleetwood turned 27 on Friday. He celebrated with some good golf – a 4-under 68 in Abu Dhabi, leaving him only two shots back in his title defense – and a birthday cake, courtesy of Rory Mcllroy.

While giving a post-round interview, Fleetwood was surprised to see McIlroy approaching with a cake in hand.

“I actually baked this before we teed off,” McIlroy joked.

Fleetwood blew out the three candles – “three wishes!” – and offered McIlroy a slice.  

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DJ shoots 64 to surge up leaderboard in Abu Dhabi

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 1:48 pm

Dustin Johnson stood out among a star-studded three-ball that combined to shoot 18 under par with just one bogey Friday at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

Shaking off a sloppy first round at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, Johnson matched the low round of the day with a 64 that put him within four shots of Thomas Pieters’ lead.

“I did everything really well,” Johnson said. “It was a pretty easy 64.”

Johnson made four bogeys during an even-par 72 on Thursday and needed a solid round Friday to make the cut. Before long, he was closer to the lead than the cut line, making birdie on three of the last four holes and setting the pace in a group that also included good rounds from Rory McIlroy (66) and Tommy Fleetwood (68).

“Everyone was hitting good shots,” McIlroy said. “That’s all we were seeing, and it’s nice when you play in a group like that. You feed off one another.” 

Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

Coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, Johnson is searching for his first regular European Tour title. He tied for second at this event a year ago.

Johnson’s second-round 64 equaled the low round of the day (Jorge Campillo and Branden Grace). 

“It was just really solid all day long,” Johnson said. “Hit a lot of great shots, had a lot of looks at birdies, which is what I need to do over the next two days if I want to have a chance to win on Sunday.” 

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Closing eagle moves Rory within 3 in Abu Dhabi

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 12:57 pm

What rust? Rory McIlroy appears to be in midseason form.

Playing competitively for the first time since Oct. 8, McIlroy completed 36 holes without a bogey Friday, closing with an eagle to shoot 6-under 66 to sit just three shots back at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

“I’m right in the mix after two days and I’m really happy in that position,” he told reporters afterward.

McIlroy took a 3 ½-month break to heal his body, clear his mind and work on his game after his first winless year since 2008, his first full season as a pro.

He's back on track at a familiar playground, Abu Dhabi Golf Club, where he’s racked up eight top-11s (including six top-3s) in his past nine starts there.

Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

McIlroy opened with a 69 Thursday, then gave himself even more chances on Day 2, cruising along at 4 under for the day when he reached the par-5 closing hole. After launching a 249-yard long iron to 25 feet, he poured in the eagle putt to pull within three shots of Thomas Pieters (65). 

Despite the layoff, McIlroy edged world No. 1 Dustin Johnson, coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, by a shot over the first two rounds. 

“DJ is definitely the No. 1 player in the world right now, and one of, if not the best, driver of the golf ball," McIlroy said. "To be up there with him over these first two days, it proves to me that I’m doing the right things and gives me a lot of confidence going forward.”

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Duke to fill in for injured Pavin at CareerBuilder

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 12:25 pm

Ken Duke will fill in for Corey Pavin for the next two rounds of the CareerBuilder Challenge – with nothing at stake but his amateur partner’s position on the leaderboard.

Pavin was 4 over par when he withdrew after 17 holes Thursday because of a neck injury. Tournament officials contacted Duke, the first alternate, and asked if he would take Pavin’s spot and partner with Luis Lopez for the next two rounds, even though he would not receive any official money.

Duke accepted and explained his decision on Twitter:

Playing on past champion’s status, the 48-year-old Duke has made only four starts this season, with a best finish of a tie for 61st at the RSM Classic.

Pavin received a sponsor exemption into the event, his first PGA Tour start since the 2015 Colonial.