Tiger Woods has withdrawn from the 2022 PGA Championship on the eve of the tournament’s final round, the PGA announced Saturday night. This comes after the iconic golfer shot a par 79 of 9 over par on Saturday afternoon, which was a career high.
Woods limped through 58-degree weather Saturday, which is unusually cold at the Southern Hills Course in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He only spoke to a reporter from the pool after the first round on Thursday, and he seemed physically exhausted as he sweated during a television interview after the second round on Friday.
Asked on Saturday if he would play the final round on Sunday, Woods said it depended on how he felt.
Now, Woods has withdrawn from the first major tournament of his career.
Just last month at the Masters in Augusta, Georgia, Woods made it through all four rounds and received perhaps the loudest applause on the 18th green that Sunday of any golfer. Even more so than eventual winner Scottie Scheffler.
That could have been probably one of the best moments of his life.
Woods broke several bones in his right leg nearly 15 months ago during a car accident in California. Many feared Woods might not survive the crash, which authorities determined he was caused by speeding. A seat belt saved his life, they said.
Woods fractured his fibula and the upper and lower tibia. His ankle bones were damaged and the soft tissue and muscles around the bones were traumatized. Reconstructive surgery involved screws, pins and rods to stabilize his leg. Combined with a persistent back injury over the years, it seemed that his career as a professional golfer was over.
He returned to Augusta last month to play in the Masters, a tournament he’s won five times before, including a memorable comeback for the 2019 title.
This was his first tournament in 17 months, which was the end of the 2020 season. Woods said this week that he would not play unless he felt he could win another green jacket. He teed off Thursday morning against the best golfers in the world, on one of the most demanding golf courses in the world.
Woods did not use a golf cart. He covered the 7,475-yard (one-mile) course for four straight days with an injured leg. He winced each time he bent down to tee the ball or retrieve it from the hole.
After the Masters, Woods did not state whether he would play many more tournaments, including the PGA Championship. He has said that he will play the Open Championship this July in St. Andrews, Scotland.
For now, Woods is grateful to be back in a tournament.
“I keep saying it, but I am,” Woods said last month. “I really am. I really am. Just to get to this point.”
“I don’t think words can really describe that given where I was a little over a year ago and what my prospects were at the time to finish here and be able to play all four rounds,” he said in April. “Even a month ago, I didn’t know if I could pull this off. I think it was positive, I have work to do and I’m looking forward to it.”