Tiger still aiming to play at U.S. Open
Tiger Woods says he didn't do any more damage to his left leg at The Players Championship and expects to play the U.S. Open next month.
Woods made it only nine holes last week at The Players — his shortest tournament ever — when he withdrew after nine holes because of what he described as a chain reaction of pain from his left knee to left Achilles and tightening in his calf. He shot 42 on the front nine.
On his website Monday, Woods said he irritated the knee and Achilles without making them worse. He said doctors have advised rest, cold water therapy and soft tissue treatment, which he said he already had been receiving.
''Aggravating my injury is very disappointing,'' Woods said. ''I'll do whatever is necessary to play in the U.S. Open, and I'm hopeful I can be there to compete.''
The U.S. Open is June 16-19 at Congressional, a course on which Woods won in 2009 at the AT&T National.
He did not say how long it would take to recover.
His website said he was doubtful to play at the Memorial Tournament, which begins June 2, while he tries to strengthen his leg. It said playing before the U.S. Open would be a ''week-to-week'' decision, although Woods has never played the week before the U.S. Open and has never played the St. Jude Classic in Memphis, Tenn.
Woods reported a mild sprain of the medial collateral ligament and a mild strain of his Achilles from hitting a shot off the pine straw under the Eisenhower Tree on the 17th hole of the Masters in the third round. He played the final round and shot 67.
He said he did not practice until Monday of The Players, and did not play any golf until his practice rounds. Woods looked fine the 9-hole practice rounds he played last week, and swing coach Sean Foley said he was pleasantly surprised to see Woods look as though he had not lost much from when he had last played in the Masters.
Woods said he hurt himself on the opening tee shot at Sawgrass.
''The knee acted up, and then the Achilles followed after that, and then the calf started cramping up,'' Woods said after he withdrew. ''Everything started getting tight, so it's just a whole chain reaction.''
At least one golfer said he hopes Woods makes it back in time for the Open, for the sake of Woods and the PGA Tour.
"It's obviously very worrying for him and he's a huge draw for our sport, so we all want to see him back playing the way we know he can," Darren Clarke told Sky Sports. "His knee has been bad for a long time. He's had so many operations on it and it's going to be tough for him if he's going to have to have another one again — there's only so many times they can keep going back in and operating on it."
If he plays at Congressional, he likely will have played nine holes of competition between the Masters and the U.S. Open.
Minutes before the statement was posted on his website, Woods said on Twitter, ''Bummed that my left leg has me on the sidelines, but I want, and expect, to be at the US Open. Will do all I can to get there.''
It would not be the first time Woods has played the U.S. Open with so little competition.
When he won his last major at the 2008 U.S. Open, he had not played a tournament in two months because of arthroscopic surgery on his left knee immediately after the Masters. Doctors later discovered stress fractures in his left leg. Woods wound up winning at Torrey Pines in a 19-hole hole playoff.