No Tiger In Kent

Tiger Woods will miss next week's Open Championship due to injuries to his left leg, the former world number one has confirmed on his website.

 

The former world number one, out of action since mid-May, announced today that due to injuries to his left leg that have not fully healed he would not be making the trip.

``Unfortunately, I've been advised that I should not play in the British Open,'' Woods said on his official website.

He will be replaced by Australian Brendan Jones.

The three-time champion - he won at St Andrews in 2000 and 2005 and then Hoylake the following year - was also an absentee at Royal Birkdale in 2008 following reconstructive knee surgery straight after his US Open victory a month earlier.

``As I stated at the AT&T National, I am only going to come back when I'm 100% ready,'' Woods added. ``I do not want to risk further injury.

``That's different for me, but I'm being smarter this time. I'm very disappointed and want to express my regrets to the British Open fans.''

Woods personally contacted Peter Dawson, chief executive of the Royal and Ancient Club, to explain why he is unable to play.

He has now had four knee operations in all during his career and after The Masters in April was diagnosed with a Grade 1 mild medial collateral ligament sprain to his left knee and a mild strain to his left Achilles tendon, suffered while hitting a shot from under a tree at Augusta.

He was unable to play in the Wells Fargo Championship and withdrew after nine holes in the first round at the Players Championship after re-injuring his leg on the opening tee shot.

Woods hoped to return for the US Open, but did not make that and also did not compete last week at the AT&T National.

``In hindsight, I probably shouldn't have competed at The Players, but it's a big event and I wanted to be there to support the tour,'' added Woods.

``I've got to learn from what I did there and do it right this time and not come back until I'm ready.

``I think my best years are still ahead of me and I'm very confident and optimistic about the future.''

Padraig Harrington, who won the last two majors of 2008 during Woods' enforced lay-off, reacted to today's news by saying: ``It's unfortunate for the game of golf and it's more unfortunate for him.

``He still is the name we would look out for the most. It's not that we want him to turn up and win, but it would be nice to have him there and bring the buzz he does.

``Let's just hope it's not that bad - it's a long time for that injury - and that he fully recovers.

``It's a good feeling when you go down the stretch with Tiger and it's a great feeling when you beat him.

``He certainly pushed everybody else along. I'm looking forward to him getting back and disappointed he's not there.''

Woods looks likeliest to return now - unless,of course, he decides to take another extended break from the game even once the leg has healed - at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational on August 4-7.

He has won that seven times, although last season came joint 78th out of 80 as the details of his divorce settlement were being finalised.

It comes a week before the final major of the year, the US PGA Championship in Atlanta.

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