Tiger Woods withdraws from Players Championship after 9 holes

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Tiger Woods limped off the golf course and into a future that is murkier than ever today when he withdrew with leg injuries after his worst nine holes at The Players Championship.

"I'm having a hard time walking," he said.

Woods shot a 42 on the front nine of the TPC Sawgrass, including a triple bogey on the fourth hole when he didn't clear a water hazard 30 yards in front of him. He constantly walked some 20 yards behind his playing partner, holding his golf club for support, limping noticeably after each hole.

After taking a bogey on the par-5 ninth, he handed his scorecard to PGA champion Martin Kaymer, then walked back to inform Matt Kuchar that he was leaving early from The Players for the second straight year.

It was his first competition since the Masters, where Woods said he hurt his left knee and Achilles while hitting from the pine straw beneath Eisenhower tree on the 17th hole in the third round. Woods was briefly tied for the lead the next day and finished tied for fourth.

He described it as a "minor injury" when he skipped last week to give his leg time to heal, and said he was "surprised" that it acted up on him at The Players.

"The treatment's been good," he said. "It's been getting better. But it just wasn't enough."

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