Tiger Woods’ sore left elbow will keep him out of competition until the British Open.
Woods said Wednesday on his website that doctors found a strain in his left elbow and advised that he take a few weeks off for rest and treatment. That means he will miss the AT&T National next week at Congressional, where he is the defending champion. The tournament benefits the Tiger Woods Foundation.
“I was examined after I returned home from the U.S. Open, and the doctors determined I have a left elbow strain,” Woods said. “I have been advised to take a few weeks off, rest and undergo treatment. I’ll be ready to go for the British Open, and I’m looking forward to playing at Muirfield.”
Woods began flexing his left wrist after hacking several shots out of the thick rough at Merion during the first round of the U.S. Open. He said that he was “fine” when the first round was halted by darkness, offered few other details the next morning and only after he finished the second round did he reveal scant details of the injury.
He said it first occurred at The Players Championship, which he won May 12 for his fourth victory this year. But he did not say in which round it occurred, or even the type of shot that caused the injury.
Woods wound up at 13-over 293 at Merion, his worst score ever for a U.S. Open and matching his highest total in any major. Woods said Friday his sore elbow would not have kept him from playing if it were not the U.S. Open. He was not asked about it the rest of the week.
His website said he felt minor discomfort before going to Merion and aggravated the area last week.
It will be the 10th time Woods is unable to defend a title in official PGA Tour events, with six of those related to reconstructive surgery on his left knee after he won the 2008 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines. The last time he failed to defend was in 2010 at Bay Hill, when he was returning from the scandal in his personal life.
Woods extended his regrets to AT&T, secondary sponsors and fans in Washington for not being able to play next week, though he indicated he would be at Congressional at some point to support the tournament.
“The AT&T National means a lot to me and my foundation,” he said. “It’s especially difficult not defending at my own tournament. It’s going to be a great event, and I look forward to being there to provide my support.”
AT&T is under contract as title sponsor through 2014. The Dallas-based company recently announced that it would take over as title sponsor for the Byron Nelson Championship starting in 2015. It also is the longtime title sponsor at Pebble Beach.
The British Open is July 18-21 at Muirfield, where Woods’ bid for the calendar Grand Slam ended in 2002 when he was caught in nasty weather. Woods shot 81 in the third round — 10 players failed to break 80 — for his highest score as a pro.