Thursday, June 23, 2011

Woods withdrawal leads to Open fears

Tiger Woods' participation in this year's Open Championship looks to be in real doubt, after the former world number one was forced to withdraw from another tournament.

The 14-time major winner has been sidelined for five weeks, when he pulled out of the Players Championship after just nine holes.

Woods had suffered knee and achilles injuries during the third round of the Masters back in April and on medical advice, was forced to take a break.

The 35-year-old had to sit out the US Open but had previously stated that he was hopeful of being fit to take his place in the field at Royal St George's. Anyone looking at The Open odds will be keeping a close eye on his progress.

But that prospect looks to be in real danger now following the news that he has withdrawn from the A&T National, which takes place in Pennsylvania from June 29.

With around four weeks until the start of the Open, Woods remains optimistic about his chances of playing at Sandwich, even though he will obviously be short of practice and competitive action.

According to his swing coach, Sean Foley, the pair of them have not worked together since the week of the Players at Sawgrass.

On Twitter, the world number 17 wrote: "Doctor's orders: sitting out the #attnational. I'll be in Philly to support the event. Feeling stronger every day, but not 100%."

Even though Woods has not won a tournament for 20 months, sections of the American media continue to refer to him as the world's top golfer and much will be made of a showdown with US Open winner Rory McIlroy.

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