Tiger Woods made two firsts on Saturday, but neither had a reason to punch. he is his all-time high score After winning the PGA Championship, he withdrew from the majors for the first time in his professional career.
Woods announced his withdrawal to the PGA of America by limping to a 9-over-par 79 in the third round at the Southern Hills.
It wouldn’t have been surprising to anyone who saw his right leg staggered in a car accident 15 months ago. Woods declined to be interviewed by the press after the round, speaking only to the full reporter.
He was asked about the process required to play on a painful, high-scoring day like this, and whether he would tee up on Sunday.
“Well, it hurts. I know it’s true.” He said. “Let’s do some work and see how it goes.”
The PGA of America withdrew after the third round. Woods was 21 shots behind Chile’s Mito Ferreira, who led by three shots in the final.
Now Woods’ attention turns to next month’s US Open. He said he would compete at the British Open in St Andrews in July when he achieved the cut by walking and competing with top players at the Masters for the first time since a car accident in Los Angeles in February 2021.
He made no mention of the PGA Championship or the US Open to assess his recovery. But he said he was traveling to the Southern Hills a few weeks before the PGA and he was feeling better than it had been then..
That lasted too long.
Despite the occasional frown, Woods played his most impressive golf Friday afternoon, passing the cut with a series of clutch putts and short game magic.
Woods suffered during his career. Notably at the 2008 US Open at Tory Pines, he suffered a double stress fracture in his left leg and torn a ligament in his left knee that required surgery at the end of the season.
But as he carefully walked down the course soaked in half an inch of rain on an early Saturday morning, he wondered if it was worth going down this road.
On the 18th, Woods said, “I didn’t do anything right,” and “I didn’t shoot many good shots. As a result, I got a pretty high score,” said Woods, after hitting 80 on the 18th.
It wasn’t the worst in the majors. At the 2002 British Open, Muirfield’s 81 shot in a raging wind and bitter cold shattered his hopes for a Grand Slam. He shot 80 at the 2015 US Open Chambers Bay while recovering from the first of five back surgeries.
This wasn’t just a sloppy play with a wedge and two waterballs, it was painful to watch.
As with the weekend at the Masters, the limp became more pronounced as the days went on, as it was the first competition since a car accident in February 2021 that broke his right leg.
And compared to the heat index, which reached triple digits at the beginning of the week, the weather over 50 degrees didn’t help either.
“You’re so sorry he has to go through this,” said Shaun Norris, who played with Woods in front of a large gallery but not as much as the previous two days.
“But again, you know who he is,” Norris said. “He rips everything to shreds and pushes himself, even all the pain.” “It’s hard to see a guy like that struggling through something like that. He’s swinging well, and I think he’ll be back when he gets his health back and all his problems are resolved.”
Woods did not choose to speak to the press, but gave the pool reporter some thoughts. He didn’t fall for one of the obvious problems: distance control. On two occasions, the cold prevented the ball from flying as far as we had hoped, or it was slower than expected, causing Woods to faint when he saw where the ball had landed.
One found the water as well as Woods’ lack of shots on the par 3 6th hole. He slipped his next shot into a shaggy collar, fluffed his chip, and then went off with a triple bogey.
And that was just the beginning.
Woods had five straight bogeys on the ninth hole. One of them was posing over the 8 iron on the par 3 11th hole and the ball was too short. He turned to his caddy and said, “Not enough bunkers!”
His pitch up and down the hill was so fast that he went down the slope over the green and had to make 4 feet to get out of the bogey. It was one hole after a similar pitch was placed on the upper ledge of the green, on a slightly further hill. The pin was in the front.
Then, on the first cut of the par 5 13th hole, a bold play over the green and strong winds bore fruit. At 100 feet, the ball crossed the pin, then 35 feet and off the green. . What could possibly be a buddy turned into a bogie.
“I couldn’t get off the bogie train,” he said.
Even when it looked like a goal and his right knee seemed to break, Woods hardly hurried a shot or putt.
The only bright spot was a 35-foot birdie putt on the 15th hole, and Woods forced a smile as he swung his right index finger into the air to score the first birdie of the day.
It was also his only one.
He said he needed a hot round on Friday, but he couldn’t on a cold day. He eventually decided it wasn’t worth going through again.