Tiger Woods said he may recover from a mild left Achilles tendon strain in time to play in next week’s Arnold Palmer Invitational, his last scheduled event before the Masters Tournament.
Woods’s status for the first major championship of the golf season is in question after he withdrew from the Cadillac Championship in Miami two days ago because of tightness in his left Achilles.
Woods said last night on his Twitter account that he got “good news” from his doctor, who diagnosed a mild strain.
“Can resume hitting balls late in week and hopeful for next week,” Woods wrote on Twitter.
The Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill Club & Lodge in Orlando, Florida, begins March 22, two weeks before the April 5 start of the Masters in Augusta, Georgia.
Woods, 36, strained his left knee and Achilles during last year’s Masters, an injury that forced him to miss the U.S. Open and British Open. When tightness in his Achilles got progressively worse during the final round of the World Golf Championships event on March 11, Woods withdrew after hitting his tee shot on the 12th hole.
“In the past, I may have tried to continue to play,” Woods, who was playing in his third straight U.S. PGA Tour event, said in a statement afterwards. “This time I decided to do what I thought was necessary.”
Woods was listed last week as a 5-1 favorite by the Las Vegas Hotel & Casino’s sportsbook to claim his fifth Masters title. His odds lengthened to 8-1 after the injury and were changed to 7-1 yesterday, making him the second-favorite after Rory McIlroy, who’s No. 1 in the Official World Golf Ranking.
Woods, whose 14 major titles trail only Jack Nicklaus’s 18, won the most recent of his 71 PGA Tour events in September 2009. That victory came two months before a one-vehicle accident near his former Florida home led to revelations of extramarital affairs and the end of his marriage.
He took a break of almost three months last season following the Masters, where he tied for fourth place. After sitting out the next two major championships, Woods missed the cut for weekend play at the PGA Championship.
Woods won a limited-field tournament he hosts in California in December, his lone stroke-play victory over the past two years. Before pulling out of the WGC event in Miami, Woods had tied for second place at the Honda Classic in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, after shooting a final-round 62.
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