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Page last updated at 19:24 GMT, Wednesday, 18 June 2008 20:24 UK

Injured Woods out for the season

Woods played through the pain at Torrey Pines
Woods played through the pain at Torrey Pines

US Open champion Tiger Woods will miss the rest of the season to have surgery on his injured left knee.

That means Woods, 32, is ruled out of the Open at Royal Birkdale, the Ryder Cup and the USPGA.

"It was important to me that I disclose my condition publicly at an appropriate time," Woods said on his website.

"Now, it is clear that the right thing to do is listen to my doctors, follow though with this surgery, and focus my attention on rehabilitating my knee."

Woods also stated he needed time to recover from a double stress fracture in his leg which were "attributed to Woods's intense rehabilitation and preparations for the US Open".

Interview: Lee Westwood on Tiger's injury

BBC Radio 5 Live golf correspondent Iain Carter said this was a career-saving operation for Woods.

"Let's be blunt, this surgery is taking place to save what is becoming the most glittering career the game has ever seen.

"Woods gave nothing away about the true condition of his left knee," he said.

"We saw he was in pain but few knew he needed cruciate ligament surgery. It makes the US Open win become more remarkable by the day."

The spectators at Birkdale will be very sad

R&A chief Peter Dawson

Organisers of the Open Championship, the Royal and Ancient (R&A), said they were disappointed that Woods would not feature in the tournament due to start on 17 July.

"It's a real shame," R&A chief executive Peter Dawson told BBC Radio 5 Live.

"We're sorry to hear about his continuing problems. The spectators at Birkdale will be very sad."

US Ryder Cup captain Paul Azinger added: "I admire Tiger as a person, player and fan.

"This should not be about Tiger and the Ryder Cup now - this is about Tiger's health and wellbeing and his march to history."

This will be the fourth time Woods's left knee will be operated on.

The first was carried out in 1994 when a benign tumour was removed and that was followed by arthroscopic surgery in December 2002. Woods then hurt his knee in 2007 while jogging in Orlando, but played through the pain, winning nine tour titles.

The American finally opted to have another arthroscopic procedure on 15 April to clean out cartilage in his left knee.

It was hoped that by doing that, and avoiding knee ligament surgery, he could complete the 2008 season.

Woods added: "My rehabilitation schedule after the arthroscopic surgery was designed with the goal of returning to play at the Memorial (on 29 May), but the stress fractures that were discovered just prior to the tournament unfortunately prevented me from participating and had a huge impact on the timing for my return.

"I was determined, though, to do everything and anything in my power to play in the US Open at Torrey Pines, which is a course that is close to where I grew up and holds many special memories for me.

To have such an icon like Tiger not play for the rest of the year, we will miss him

2005 US Open champion Michael Campbell

"Although I will miss the rest of the 2008 season, I'm thrilled with the fact that last week was such a special tournament."

Woods announced his decision just two days after winning his 14th major by defeating Rocco Mediate in a sudden-death play-off at the US Open.

He was limping throughout the four days of competition at Torrey Pines but stayed in contention forcing a play-off with an 18th hole birdie before repeating the feat on the final hole in the play-off.

The Californian eventually sealed the victory on the sudden-death hole.

Eight-times European number one Colin Montgomerie said: "This puts into sharp perspective what an extraordinary performance it was.

"To go 72 holes, then another 18, then have enough to win the play-off; it just shows the sheer willpower of the man.

"It is difficult in the middle of an extraordinary era to think of the rest of the year without Tiger. It's a huge loss to golf."

American world number two Phil Mickelson said: "I know how frustrating it was to lose most of last summer to my wrist injury.

"But I expect him to be back as strong as ever and look forward to competing with him as soon as possible."

2005 US Open winner Michael Campbell said: "To have such an icon like Tiger not play for the rest of the year, we will miss him.

"It will be quite different not to have Tiger in any events. He adds so much, another dimension to every tournament he plays in.

"You were not quite sure how bad the injury was, but obviously it was pretty bad and there were some serious things going on with the left knee. We just wish him the best."

PGA Tour player John Daly added: "It's tough. The world will miss him. His US Open win is even more impressive now. It was phenomenal."

see also
Iain Carter column
18 Jun 08 |  Golf
US Open play-off photos
16 Jun 08 |  Golf

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