After a nightmarish third round, the American golfer decided overnight from Saturday to Sunday to throw in the towel at the PGA Championship.
Too much pain and last place: It was too much for Tiger Woods on Saturday night at the PGA Championship, where he decided to retire after a nightmarish 3rd round in which he returned one of his worst cards in a Major .
“We admire the commitment and courage Tiger has shown to enter the tournament. We wish him the best as he continues to recover from his injuries,” said PGA of America President Jim Richerson.
“I’m in pain. It’s a fact”
The announcement on Twitter by the organizers was expected. A few hours earlier, Woods had left a doubt that already spoke volumes.
When asked if he would play the final round on Sunday, the 46-year-old American replied: “Well, I’m in pain. It’s a fact. We’ll do some work (with the physios) and see how it goes.
His second comeback, five weeks after the overwhelming success at the Masters, where he went despite tiredness and pain at the age of 72, ended with a termination. The second of his Grand Slam career, after that at the 1995 US Open, when he injured his wrist as a young 19-year-old amateur on his debut at that tournament trying to get the ball out of the thicket, tall grass .
A rarity that cannot reduce the current obstacle course of the winner of 15 Grand Slams. Fifteen months ago, he was considered lost to golf after a serious car accident that nearly cost him his right leg and required the insertion of a bar in his shin and screws to consolidate the foot bones and pin.
If the relief of Southern Hills (Oklahoma) was less difficult to survey than that of Augusta, surely the climatic conditions made life difficult for Woods, between the humid heat of Friday and the cold and windy humidity that settled Saturday, inevitably trying for his joints.
After that third round he looked exhausted, his steely mind shaken, struck by a rather rare abysmal performance on his part as he returned a card of 79, nine strokes over par. One session away from his worst major record, set in the 2002 British Open 3rd round and repeated in the 2015 US Open 1st round: “I didn’t do anything right. I didn’t get a lot of good shots. So I ended up with a pretty high score. I just wasn’t playing well,” he agreed.
Great sensation on the Southern Hills (Oklahoma) course. It’s a virtual stranger no one saw coming leading the dance before the final round. In his second participation in a Major, the Chilean Guillermo “Mito” Pereira, 100th in the world, already in ambush the day before in 2nd place, unlike his main rivals, was the most solid on the board and stands at the gates of a rare Perfomance.
The last player to make a Grand Slam event his first-ever title was Danny Willett at the Augusta Masters in 2016. There are only six in history to achieve this unique feat.
Pereira, a native of Santiago, is in his first full season in the PGA, where he was promoted thanks to three wins during the previous practice session on the Korn Ferry Tour, the North American developmental circuit. The 27-year-old could become the first rookie to win a major since 2011 PGA Championship winner Keegan Bradley.
“Splash” in the water
The tiger has been fighting for the past 48 hours. Back on the wall at the end of the first round with a 74 card, four strokes over par, he struggled on Friday to stay in the cut, which ended the day at +4. His encouraging 69 score kept him 53rd (+3) in the tournament.
On Saturday his ball “splashed” in the water twice at the beginning, on the 2nd and 6th hole, with bogey and triple bogey at the end. After another bogey on 7, he conceded five more in a row between 9-13. A first for him at a major tournament…
Still, he managed to salvage the honor by birdie at No. 15 on a superb putt from 11 yards. And even smiled as his terrific shot had the spectators behind the strings cheering.
St Andrews Gate
In the end, his fall in the general classification was staggering as he ended up 79th with a total of +12. A position that has been invalidated because of its task.
It remains to be seen what Woods is up to in the coming weeks. The US Open is in a month. Although he didn’t actually mention this meeting, he made the British Open in St Andrews, Scotland his goal.
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