PGA Championship: Tiger Woods’ most recent major appearance came to an abrupt end when he pulled out of the PGA Championship before the final round.
After making the cut with a shot to spare on Friday, the 15-time major champion shot a nine-over 79 in cold and windy conditions on Saturday and decided to call it a day after struggling through the 18 holes on his rebuilt right leg.
Following his return to The Masters, Woods was making only his second appearance since sustaining career-threatening leg injuries in a vehicle accident last February.
Following his withdrawal, his only statements were on Sunday night, when he congratulated his close buddy Justin Thomas on his triumph and thanked the tournament’s organisers for a “wonderful week,” but what does the 46-year-future old’s hold?
What makes Woods want to fight?
Woods finished 47th in his comeback appearance at The Masters, making the cut after a first-round 71 at Augusta National and then faltering dramatically over the weekend with straight rounds of 78.
The PGA Championship, on the other hand, painted a different image, with Woods recovering from a 74 in the first round to shoot a one-under 69 in difficult circumstances on Friday to make the halfway cut with a shot to spare.
Woods was then handicapped by chilly and windy conditions during his third round at Southern Hills, making five straight bogeys for the first time in a major as a professional and barely avoiding a score of 80 or worse.
“I’ve played enough golf with Tiger in the generations, and this is just partial Tiger Woods right now, this isn’t the complete Tiger Woods,” former PGA champion Rich Beem told Sky Sports. “I know it’s great having him out there, he still draws the largest fanbase and it’s nice having him, but I just wish we could get him where he’s a little bit healthier and not struggling so much physically.”
Prior to his comeback at the PNC Championship last December, Woods said that returning to full-time golf was no longer an option, however, Sky Sports’ Nick Dougherty knows why the 82-time PGA Tour champion wants to keep looking for a way back to fitness.
“Many will probably look at it and think, why do it? Why does he need to do it, with what he’s won and achieved already?” Dougherty said. “It looks painful for him and the work that he has to put in, going home for a couple of ice baths tonight doesn’t sound like a great time!
“I don’t think he’s ready to say goodbye to competing for a while yet. I think he’d be lonely in his life in a competitive sense, in a meaningful, purposeful sense if he didn’t have this still. Even though it’s not often, he still looks like he lives to prepare to try and to roll the dice in these events.”
Tiger Woods has withdrawn after Round 3 from the 2022 PGA Championship. pic.twitter.com/I4TiYAgvoM
— PGA Championship (@PGAChampionship) May 21, 2022