Injured Woods expects to return for US Open
NEWTOWN SQUARE, Pa. — Tiger Woods says he’ll be ready to go for the US Open.
Good thing for him there’s time to get healthy.
The golfing great hasn’t hit a ball in about two weeks. Woods needs crutches and a walking boot for relief on his aching left leg. He won’t even start leg training until the end of next week.
But Woods expects to tee off at the US Open June 16-19 at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Md.
“You just play through these things,’’ Woods said. “There’s a difference between being in pain and being injured.’’
Woods is bothered by pain in his left knee, left Achilles’ tendon, tightening in his calf, and a sore lower back. He says doctors have not mentioned leg surgery. But he doubts he’ll play the Memorial next week in Dublin, Ohio.
Woods said he’ll start training by the end of next week. How his leg responds will determine when he can start hitting balls again — all but ruling out the Memorial.
“I’ve had four surgeries on it,’’ Woods said. “Obviously, it’s not what it was when I was little.’’
That means Woods would go to the US Open having had little competitive play, although this is nothing new for him. In 2008, he had arthroscopic surgery after the Masters and didn’t play again until the US Open. Doctors discovered a double stress fracture in his left tibia in the weeks before the major. Going against his doctor’s advice, Woods not only played the US Open, but won it at Torrey Pines in a 19-hole playoff.
Now, he says his left leg is not nearly as bad as it was then.
His golf, however, is a different story.
In the 11 tournaments Woods played before that US Open, he won eight times, was runner-up twice, and didn’t finish out of the top five. In the 11 tournaments before this US Open, he has only five finishes in the top 10.
Woods said he was more worried about his health in 2008.
“I’m a lot better off,’’ said Woods, who has fallen to No. 12 in the world rankings. “I feel that in the next week or so, I can start getting back toward that and start practicing pain free. That’s where I’m at.
Woods spoke at Aronimink Golf Club to promote the AT&T National.