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Injured Tiger Woods pulls out of World Challenge

Tiger Woods in action
Woods has won 14 majors during his glittering career

Tiger Woods has withdrawn from the Chevron World Challenge, a tournament he has hosted for the past nine years.

The world number one said injuries sustained in a car accident on Friday morning have forced him to pull out.

Woods was found semi-conscious with facial injuries after his car reportedly hit a fire hydrant and tree.

"I am extremely disappointed that I will not be at my tournament this week," the 33-year-old said in a statement on his official website.

"I am certain it will be an outstanding event and I'm very sorry that I can't be there."

Woods also confirmed he will not participate in any further tournaments in 2009, although the next official fixture on the US PGA Tour schedule is the SBS Championship, an event for winners from the previous year, in Hawaii beginning on 7 January.

Woods was treated in hospital and then released following the crash in the early hours of Friday morning, but has kept a low profile since then.

On Sunday, he released a statement on his website hitting out at what he called "unfounded rumours" circulating about the circumstances of the crash.

He has so far declined requests to talk to police.

Northern Ireland's Graeme McDowell will replace Woods in the elite 18-strong field for the World Challenge which starts on Thursday at the Sherwood Country Club in Thousand Oaks, California.

Vijay Singh is another withdrawal and he has been replaced by American Justin Leonard for the event which raises money for Woods's charitable foundation.

"We support Tiger's decision and are confident the strong field and excellent course will provide an exciting week of competition," said Tiger Woods Foundation President Greg McLaughlin.

Although the $5.75m (£3.5m) World Challenge tournament is not an official PGA Tour event, it features 12 of the world's top 20 players and carries ranking points for the first time.

At 55th in the world McDowell could climb into the end-of-year top 50 and with it secure a place in next April's Masters at Augusta.

Woods, who has won 14 majors and 82 tournaments across the globe, has won the World Challenge four times.

He did not play last year as he was recovering from knee reconstruction surgery, but the American was on hand to present the trophy to Fiji's Singh.

Woods ended his 2009 PGA Tour campaign with six victories in 17 starts, including 14 top-10 finishes, for overall winnings of $10.5m (£6.38m) following his eight months out of the game.

He also won the season-long points race for the FedExCup, plus the $10m (£6m) bonus.

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see also
McDowell replaces injured Woods
01 Dec 09 |  Golf
Tiger Woods crash 911 call
29 Nov 09 |  Americas
Woods hits out at 'false rumours'
29 Nov 09 |  Americas
Tiger Woods delays police meeting
28 Nov 09 |  Americas
Golfer Woods hurt in US car crash
28 Nov 09 |  Golf
Tiger Woods profile
27 Nov 09 |  Golf
Tiger Woods's career in photos
12 Dec 09 |  Golf

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