Wed, May 18, 2011 - Page 20 News List

Tiger likely to play US Open, but injury means doubts linger over the Memorial

AFP, WASHINGTON

Tiger Woods of the US reacts after hitting his second shot on the ninth hole during first-round play at the Players Championship tournament at Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, on May 12.

Photo: Reuters

Tiger Woods expects to play in next month’s US Open despite nagging left knee pain that forced him out of last week’s US PGA Players Championship and has him doubtful for the Memorial in two weeks.

“Bummed that my left leg has me on the sidelines, but I want, and expect, to be at the US Open. Will do all I can to get there,” Woods posted on Monday evening on his Twitter microblogging Web site.

Woods suffered a sprained left knee and strained left Achilles tendon in the third round at last month’s Masters, the year’s first major championship where he finished in a share of fourth for the second year in a row.

In an update on his official Web site, Woods said he suffered no new damage to his leg last Thursday at the Players when he fired a six-over par 42 on the front nine and withdrew because of left leg pain.

“Aggravating my injury is very disappointing,” Woods said on his Web site. “I’ll do whatever is necessary to play in the US Open and I’m hopeful I can be there to compete.”

Former world No. 1 Woods, a 14-time major champion chasing the record 18 won by Jack Nicklaus, has not won any titles in 18 months since the eruption of his infamous sex scandal and has not won a major since the 2008 US Open.

While Woods said he he has no timetable for when he might return, he called it unlikely that he would play at the Memorial from June 2 to June 5, a tournament hosted by Nicklaus that serves as a major tuneup for top US Open contenders.

Woods, who has slid to eighth in the world rankings, deemed it likely he would play at the US Open, to be staged from June 16 to June 19 at Congressional Country Club near Washington, but called playing before that a week-to-week decision.

Woods will have rehabiliation and strengthening exercises on his left leg, while doctors have advised Woods to rest his leg and undergo cold-water therapy and soft tissue treatment.

Until a practice round for the Players, Woods had not played golf in four weeks after hurting himself in the Masters, and his quick exit last week renewed questions about his future and chances of overtaking Nicklaus.

Woods, 35, has already undergone four operations on his left knee, including major reconstructive surgery after limping through a playoff to win the 2008 US Open at Torrey Pines. He has not won a major crown since.

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