AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) — Tiger Woods has retired from teachers before resuming the third round due to injury on Sunday, ending his streak of completing all 72 holes of every tournament he has played at Augusta National as a professional.
The tournament announced about 90 minutes before play began that Woods, who is still reeling from the effects of the 2021 car accident that nearly cost him his right leg, had withdrawn. He had limped through the practice rounds earlier in the week and again during the first and second rounds, but the limp had become more pronounced as the weather worsened.
“I’m disappointed to have to do WD this morning as my plantar fasciitis got worse,” Woods said on Twitter. “Thank you to the fans and to (at) TheMasters who have shown me so much love and support. Good luck to the players today!”
The five times champion he finished his second round in cold, pouring rain on Saturday to make the cut at number 3 and up, extending his Masters streak to 23 in a row and tying Fred Couples and Gary Player for the longest in history.
Woods, 47, returned for the start of the third round as temperatures struggled to reach 50 degrees, and it ended up being a waterlogged slog. Wearing a gray winter hat over a baseball cap, he started on the 10th hole with a bogey, added another on the 14th and then had back-to-back double bogeys after hitting water on the 15th and 16th holes.
It was the first time Woods had back-to-back double bogeys at the Masters.
By the time the horn blew and the game ended with the rain still pouring down and puddles beginning to form at Augusta National, Woods was at 9 and only last among those to make the cut. That was 22 shots behind leader Brooks Koepka.
“I’ve always liked this golf course and I love playing this event,” Woods said after his second round on Saturday. “Obviously I’ve missed a couple with some injuries, but I’ve always wanted to play here. I loved it.
Woods also withdrew before the final round of the PGA Championship last year with what his agent, Mark Steinberg, described as pain and discomfort in his right foot. That came hours after the 15-time Grand Slam champion limped to 79 at Southern Hills in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in similarly cold and windy weather; he had shot 69 in the second round.
Woods captured his fifth green jacket in 2019 when he finished a shot ahead of Koepka, Dustin Johnson and Xander Schauffele. It was his first major win in 11 years, and at 43, Woods became the second-oldest player to win the Masters after Jack Nicklaus, who was 46 when he won his sixth green jacket in 1986.
Woods was injured in 2021 when his car skidded off a suburban Los Angeles highway at more than 85 mph, crushing his right leg so severely that he said doctors considered amputation. When asked how much hardware held it together, Woods replied, «A lot.»
Woods rebounded and made the cut at the Masters last year before shooting straight 78 over the weekend.
Injuries have forced Woods to play a very limited schedule: the majors and a few select events. He shot two rounds in the ’60s and finished tied for 45th at The Genesis Invitational at Riviera in February, but he skipped Bay Hill and The Players Championship to get healthy and ready to return to Augusta National.
The question now is whether Woods will play the PGA Championship at Oak Hill in May. The US Open is at the Los Angeles Country Club in June, not far from where Woods grew up, and the British Open is at Royal Liverpool in July.
“Yeah, the mobility is not where I would like it to be,” Woods said. “I have told you before, I am very lucky to have this leg, it is mine. Yes, it’s been altered and there’s some hardware in there, but it’s still mine. It has been hard and always will be hard. The capacity and resistance of what my leg will do in the future will never be the same. I understand that.
“That’s why I can’t prepare and play as many tournaments as I want, but that’s my future and that’s fine. I’m fine with that.»