Injuries prompt Woods to skip U.S. Open

Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods won’t be playing next week's U.S. Open.

"Not playing in US Open. Very disappointed. Short-term frustration for long-term gain," he wrote Tuesday afternoon on Twitter.

Injuries to his left knee and Achilles’ tendon are bad enough that Woods, 35, decided Tuesday to skip the U.S. Open for the first time since his 1995 debut in the national championship as a 19-year-old amateur. The Masters is now the only major he has never missed as a pro.

Woods said he strained ligaments in his left knee, which has undergone four operations, while hitting a shot out of pine straw in the third round of the Masters. He described it then as a “minor injury,” though recent events have proved it to be much more serious. He said two weeks ago that it might have been a mistake to play in The Players Championship, from which he withdrew after shooting 6-over 42 for nine holes.

Woods did not indicate when he might return, though the next scheduled tournament listed on his website is the AT&T National on June 30-July 3.

"I am extremely disappointed that I won't be playing in the U.S. Open, but it's time for me to listen to my doctors and focus on the future," Woods said in a quote posted to TigerWoods.com. "I was hopeful that I could play, but if I did, I risk further damage to my left leg. My knee and Achilles' tendon are not fully healed. I hope to be ready for AT&T National, the next two majors and the rest of the year."

Woods competed in the 2008 U.S. Open with a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament and a double stress fracture of the left tibia, but was told then by doctors that playing in the tournament would not make his leg worse. He would go on to win that tournament in a thrilling 19-hole playoff with Rocco Mediate at Torrey Pines.

"It's been a frustrating and difficult year, but I'm committed to my long-term health," Woods said on TigerWoods.com. "I want to thank the fans for their encouragement and support. I am truly grateful and will be back playing when I can."

Michael Whitehead, of Sugar Land, Texas, will take Woods' place at Congressional. The 23-year-old amateur was the first alternate out of the sectional qualifier held at Dallas Athletic Club.

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