WASHINGTON May 17 – Tiger Woods expects to play in next month's US Open despite nagging left knee pain that forced him out of last week's US PGA Players Championship and has him doubtful for the Memorial in two weeks.
"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," Woods posted Monday evening on his Twitter microblogging website.
Woods suffered a sprained left knee and strained left Achilles tendon in the third round at last month’s Masters, the year’s first major championship where he finished in a share of fourth for the second year in a row.
In an update on his official website, Woods said he suffered no new damage to his leg last Thursday at the Players when he fired a six-over par 42 on the front nine and withdrew because of left leg pain.
"Aggravating my injury is very disappointing," Woods said on his website. "I’ll do whatever is necessary to play in the US Open and I’m hopeful I can be there to compete."
Former world number one Woods, a 14-time major champion chasing the record 18 won by Jack Nicklaus, has not won any title in 18 months since the eruption of his infamous sex scandal and has not won a major since the 2008 US Open.
While Woods said he he has no timetable for when he might return, he called it unlikely that he would play June 2-5 at the Memorial, a tournament hosted by Nicklaus that serves as a major tuneup for top US Open contenders.
Woods, who has slid to eighth in the world rankings, deemed it likely he would play at the US Open, to be staged June 16-19 at Congressional Country Club near Washington, but called playing before that a week-to-week decision.
Woods will conduct rehabilitation and strengthening exercises on his left leg while doctors have advised Woods to rest his leg and undergo cold-water therapy and soft tissue treatment.
Until a practice round for the Players, Woods had not played golf in four weeks after hurting himself in the Masters, and his quick exit last week renewed questions about his future and chances of overtaking Nicklaus.
Woods is mired in the longest win drought of his career and the longest major win drought of his career.
Woods, 35, has already undergone four operations on his left knee, including major reconstructive surgery after limping through a playoff to win the 2008 US Open at Torrey Pines. He has not won a major crown since.
The last victory in any event for Woods came at the 2009 Australian Masters, just before the sex scandal that led to his divorce and the loss of most of his sponsorship deals.