Posted on: May 12, 2011 3:02 pm

Tiger was obviously ailing? Yes and no

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla . -- Two guys with the same front-row seats.

But you'd never know they were watching the same sporting event.

The playing partners of Tiger Woods in the first round of the Players Championship could not have been farther apart in their postround comments about Woods, who quit after nine holes on Thursday. It was almost funny, the difference in their levels of perception with regard to the pain Woods was feeling with his myriad leg issues.

"Tiger looked like he was in pain today," said Matt Kuchar, who shot 69. "It looked like you could tell he was walking quite slowly, quite gingerly it seemed like. He was just last to get to his ball every time as he was just walking so gingerly."

Woods said he aggravated his injuries with the very first swing of the day. Which Kuchar picked up quickly.

"Yeah, probably by the second hole I knew that you could tell," Kuchar said. "That walk wasn't normal, and I think by the third hole started seeing some grimacing."

While Kuchar was almost expecting Woods to stop after nine holes, Kaymer, ranked No. 2 in the world, was clearly caught off guard. Woods handed him his scorecard after walking off the ninth green.

"I was surprised because I was not expecting it," Kaymer said. "But I mean, nobody really knows in how much pain he was [in]."

Kaymer failed to notice that Woods was favoring his right leg and struggling to keep up with his playing pertners.

"Did I notice anything?" Kaymer said. "Yeah, he was walking really slowly. He was walking behind us. But I didn't know that it was because of pain or I just thought that he walks a little slower than me. 

"I didn't really know in how much pain he was. I don't know what he told you guys after the round, but for us, I was focusing on my game. I was not really paying too much attention."

Not a bad idea, really. Kaymer, the defending PGA Championship winner, shot 65 and was in a tie for third after the morning session.

Posted on: May 9, 2010 4:51 pm

Tiger withdrawal backlash ... and whiplash?

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- Of all the moving parts related to the Tiger Woods scandal, one element that has stuck in the craw of many is the way the investigation of his car crash on Thanksgiving morning was handled. Some still believe that Woods escaped prosecution on more serious charges because the investigation was badly bungled by local authorities.

Woods has repeatedly declined to discuss whether he took Ambien that night, had been drinking, or where he was headed.

After his surprising withdrawal on Sunday at the Players Championship, there is reason to suspect that Woods might have suffered some serious crash-related repercussions after all.

Woods said after he withdrew in the middle of the final round that he sustained the injury to his neck, which he believes in a bulging disc, sometime before the Masters and that it has been bothering him since. How far before the Masters has become the unanswered question of the day.

In his press session before the Masters, Woods was asked about the injuries he sustained in the crash, where he plowed over a fire hydrant and into a tree at approximately 30 mph while not wearing a seatbelt. Woods said he received five stitches in his lip. According to the police report, the airbags did not deploy.

"I had a busted-up lip and a pretty sore neck, and that was it," he said at the time.

Woods had never before withdrawn in the middle of a PGA Tour round as a professional.

Category: Golf
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