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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Recent winner Cook contending at CareerBuilder

By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 11:45 pm

Patton Kizzire is currently the only two-time PGA Tour winner this season, but Austin Cook hopes to join him this week at the CareerBuilder Challenge.

Cook won for the first time in November at the RSM Classic, a victory that catapaulted him from the Web.com Tour graduate category into an entirely new echelon. Cook notched a pair of top-25 finishes over the last two weeks in Hawaii, and he's again in the mix after an opening 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course left him one shot behind Jon Rahm.

"Today was great," Cook told reporters. "The conditions were perfect, but I always loved desert golf and I was just hitting the ball well and seeing good lines on the greens and hitting good putts."

Cook got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under highlighted by an eagle on the par-5 fourth hole. He briefly entertained the notion of a sub-60 round after birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 before closing with six pars and a birdie.

Cook was a relative unknown before his victory at Sea Island earlier this season, but now with the flexibility and confidence afforded by a win he hopes to build on his burgeoning momentum this week in California.

"That was a big, proud moment for myself, knowing that I can finish a tournament," Cook said. "I think it was one of those things that I've proven to myself that now I can do it, and it just meant the world to me."

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Photo: Fleetwood's phone cover is picture of Bjorn

By Jason CrookJanuary 18, 2018, 11:40 pm

There's phone covers and then there are Phone Covers.

Paul Casey has himself a Phone Cover, showing off the protective case that features a picture of his wife at last year's U.S. Open.

Now, it appears, Tommy Fleetwood has joined the movement.

Fleetwood, last year's season-long Race to Dubai winner, has a phone cover with a picture of Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn on it. And not even a current Thomas Bjorn. This is a young Bjorn. A hair-having Bjorn.

@tommyfleetwood_1

A post shared by Alex Noren (@alexnoren1) on

The 26-year-old is a virtual lock for this year's European Ryder Cup team, but just in case, he's carrying around a phone with a picture of the team captain attached to the back of it.

It's a bold strategy, Cotton. Let's see if it pays off for him.

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Mickelson starts fast, fades to 70 at La Quinta

By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 11:07 pm

Phil Mickelson got off to a fast start in his first competitive round of 2018 - for six holes, at least.

The 47-year-old is making his first start since the WGC-HSBC Champions this week at the CareerBuilder Challenge, and only his third competitive appearance since the BMW Championship in September. Four birdies over his first six holes indicated that a strong opener might be in the cards, but Mickelson played his subsequent holes in 2 over.

It added up to a 2-under 70 at La Quinta Country Club, typically the easiest of the three courses in rotation this week, and left Mickelson eight shots behind Jon Rahm.

"It was fun to get back out and be competitive," Mickelson told reporters. "I for some reason am stuck on 70 here at La Quinta, whether I get off to a good start or a bad one, I end up shooting the same score."


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Mickelson stunted his momentum with a tee shot out of bounds on the par-4 eighth hole, but he managed to save bogey and otherwise drove the ball relatively well. Instead, he pointed to his normally reliable iron play as the culprit for his back-nine backslide on a day when more than 120 players in the 156-man field broke par.

Mickelson will now head to the Nicklaus Tournament Course with the Stadium Course on tap for Saturday's third round. While there were several low scores Thursday at La Quinta, Mickelson remains bullish about the birdie opportunities that still lie ahead.

"This isn't the course where I go low on," Mickelson said. "I feel more comfortable on Stadium and Nicklaus. Neither of them are nearly as tight and I tend to score a lot lower on those other two than I do here, historically."

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Rahm (62) shoots career low round at CareerBuilder

By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 10:33 pm

After a banner year in 2017, Jon Rahm found a way to add yet another accolade to his growing list of accomplishments during the opening round of the CareerBuilder Challenge.

Rahm got off to a fast start at La Quinta Country Club, playing his first seven holes in 6 under en route to a 10-under 62. The score marked his career low on the PGA Tour by two shots and gave him an early lead in an event that utilizes a three-course rotation.

La Quinta was the site of Adam Hadwin's 59 during last year's event, and Rahm knew full well that a quick start opened the door to a memorably low score.

"Any time you have that going for you, you get thoughts come in your head, 60, maybe 59," Rahm told reporters. "I knew that if I kept playing good I was going to have more birdie opportunities, and I tried not to get ahead of myself and I was able to do it."

Rahm birdied his first two holes before an eagle on the par-5 fifth hole sparked him to an outward 30. He added four more birdies on the inward half without dropping a shot.

The Spaniard is the highest-ranked player in the field this week, and while many players opted for a two-week stint in Hawaii he instead came home for some practice after opening the new year with a runner-up finish at the Sentry Tournament of Champions. That decision appears to have paid some early dividends as Rahm gets set to defend a PGA Tour title for the first time next week at Torrey Pines.

Low scores were plentiful on all three courses during the opening round, and Rahm remained pleased with his effort even though he fell short of matching Hadwin's sub-60 score from a year ago.

"That's golf. You're not going to make every single putt, you're not going to hit every shot perfect," he said. "Overall, you've got to look at the bigger picture. I birdied the last hole, had a couple of great sand saves coming in, shot 10 under par. There's not much more I can ask for."