Things went from bad to worse pretty quickly after Tiger Woods’ opening tee shot in the first round of The Players Championship on Thursday. As the ball sailed far left of the fairway Woods appeared to grimace -- clearly troubled by something.
As it turns out, he had re-injured his left knee.
Realizing that he was too hurt to play effectively, Woods limped over to his playing partners Matt Kuchar and Martin Kaymer, shook their hands, and withdrew from the event.
Although Woods pulled out of The Players Championship with 12 holes to play due to a neck injury only a year ago, few expected history to repeat itself in this fashion.
Later, a limping Woods would admit that he had a difficult time walking the front nine of the Stadium Course at TPC Sawgress.
"I was just trying to draw that ball out there just a little bit. I pushed forward, and you know it just didn't feel good," Woods said about his first tee shot. "The knee acted up and then the Achilles' followed after that and then the calf started cramping up. Everything started getting tight, so it's just a whole chain reaction. This morning, I felt fine during warm-up, and then as I played, it progressively got worse.
"I'm having a hard time walking."
This marks the fourth time that Woods has withdrawn from a tournament over the course of his professional career. The last two, as mentioned, have been the Players Championships. Prior to those, he withdrew from the 2006 Northern Trust Open and 1998 AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am