By Phil Casey, PA Golf Correspondent, Tulsa
Tiger Woods withdrew from the US PGA Championship on Saturday evening, hours after recording his worst score in the event.
Woods made the halfway cut with a shot to spare at Southern Hills, but struggled to a nine-over-par 79 in the third round.
That left the 46-year-old 12 over par and tied for last among the 79 players to make the halfway cut and his subsequent withdrawal came as no surprise.
Tiger Woods has withdrawn after Round 3 from the 2022 PGA Championship. pic.twitter.com/I4TiYAgvoM
— PGA Championship (@PGAChampionship) May 21, 2022
Tournament officials had announced while Woods was still on the course that he would not conduct a full slate of post-round interviews.
When asked by a designated pool reporter if he would play on Sunday, the 15-time major winner said: “Well, I’m sore. I know that for a fact.
“We’ll do some work and see how it goes.”
Woods had clearly been in pain from the right leg which was injured so severely in a car accident in February last year that he feared it might have to be amputated.
He remarkably returned to action 10 months later and finished second with son Charlie in the PNC Championship, before making his top-level return in last month’s Masters.
Woods carded an opening 71 at Augusta National and made the cut before fading badly over the weekend with consecutive rounds of 78.
After holing from 13 feet to save par on the first on Saturday, Woods drove into the creek which bisects the second hole and made a bogey five following a penalty drop, before finding more water on the par-three sixth.
Woods then missed the green with his third shot from the drop zone on his way to a triple-bogey six and dropped another shot on the next to slide further down the leaderboard.
The chilly weather was doing him no favours due to his extensive history of injuries and bogeys at the seventh and ninth – where he thinned his second shot into the face of a bunker – completed a miserable front nine of 41.
Four more bogeys to start the back nine left Woods in danger of recording his worst score in any major, his unwanted mark of 81 set in terrible weather in the 2002 Open Championship at Muirfield.
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) May 21, 2022
Yet in typical fashion he refused to throw in the towel, holing from 35 feet for his first birdie of the day on the 15th and celebrating by sardonically holding one finger in the chilly air.
Three closing pars gave Woods a 79, his previous worst score in the US PGA being a 77 in the first round in 2011.
Six-time major winner Nick Faldo, commentating for CBS, revealed it takes several hours for Woods to get ready to play before every round due to the severe leg injuries suffered in last year’s car crash.
“Physically and mentally it’s a brutal effort every day. I’m amazed he’s just grinding on,” Faldo said. “He’s not giving up, he’s giving 100 per cent on every shot.”