World No.1 Tiger Woods will not defend his title next week at the PGA National because of a strained left elbow after doctors advised him to rest before The Open next month.
Woods announced his withdrawal from the event, which his foundation runs and uses as a charity benefit event, on his Web site on Wednesday.
“I have been advised to take a few weeks off, rest and undergo treatment,” Woods said. “I’ll be ready to go for the British Open and I’m looking forward to playing at Muirfield.”
The PGA tournament, one of the last major US tuneups for The Open, runs from June 27 to June 30 at Congressional Country Club in suburban Washington.
Woods, whose 14 major titles are only four shy of the record 18 won by Jack Nicklaus, injured the elbow last month on his way to victory at the Players Championship, although that was not common knowledge until last week’s US Open.
Woods aggravated the injury last week blasting out of the dense rough at Merion and played through pain on the way to a share of 32nd place at 13-over 293, his worst 72-hole professional US Open score relative to par.
“I was examined after I returned home from the US Open and the doctors determined I have a left -elbow strain,” Woods said.
The 37-year-old American has won four times this year, giving him 78 career titles, only four short of matching the all-time PGA triumphs record set by the late Sam Snead.
Woods expressed regrets to sponsors and fans for not playing, but said he would attend the tournament.