By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
DORAL, Fla. -- Tiger Woods withdrew from the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship after 11 holes Sunday, citing an injury to his left Achilles tendon.
“I felt tightness in my left Achilles when warming up this morning. It felt progressively worse throughout the day,” 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. I will get my Achilles evaluated sometime early next week."
Woods was 3 over on his round and 10 shots out of the lead when he saved par from the bunker on the 11th hole. Following his tee shot on the 12th hole, he headed for the parking lot. He got in a black sedan and drove off with caddie Joe LaCava in the passenger seat.
When Woods made the turn Sunday at TPC Blue Monster at Doral, he changed shoes and was noticeably limping. After hitting his second shot from the rough on the 10th hole, Woods winced and appeared to be in pain.
“I wasn't paying much attention, but it looked like he made a swing on 12 that really hurt,” said Webb Simpson, who was paired with Woods. “He just shook my hand and said, ‘I've got to go in’ because you know, you could tell he was hurting. He didn't say a whole lot, but his expression was enough.”
Simpson’s caddie Paul Tesori said Woods started “hobbling” beginning at about the fourth hole. “You knew something was going on,” he said. “[Tiger’s caddie] Joe [LaCava] said his Achilles was puffed up."
Woods is scheduled to play the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by MasterCard in two weeks before heading to the Masters in early April.
This was the third straight week that Woods had played.
When asked after Saturday’s round how his leg was holding up, Woods said, “Oh, it feels great.”
In recent years, however, health has become a major concern for Woods. This is the third time in three years that Woods, who last won on TOUR at the 2009 BMW Championshiph, has withdrawn due to an injury.
At last year’s PLAYERS Championship, Woods pulled out after just nine holes in the opening round after re-injuring his left knee and Achilles tendon, an injury he originally sustained during the third round of the Masters last year.
Woods missed three months, saying he didn't want to return until he knew he was healthy.
Since then, he’d been taken off a limited ball count and was able to practice as much as he wanted. In three starts this season, Woods tied for 15th at Pebble Beach, was eliminated in the second round of the World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship and tied for second at last week’s Honda Classic, where he closed with a final-round 62.
Sunday marked the fifth time Woods has withdrawn from a PGA TOUR event as a pro.
He also withdrew from the last two PLAYERS Championships -- he pulled out in the final round of the 2010 event with a neck injury -- and also withdrew from the 2006 Northern Trust Open and the 1998 AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. Woods also withdrew from the 1995 U.S. Open as an amateur.
In 2008, he played through a stress fracture in his left leg on his way to winning the U.S. Open at Torrey Pines. In December of that year, he tore his Achilles tendon.
In all, Woods has had four major surgeries on his left leg during his career.