Woods withdraws after 9 holes

It is the second successive year that the former world number one has pulled out of the tournament -- he withdrew from the final round last year due to a neck injury. The 14-time major winner came into the Players, known as the ‘fifth major’, after suffering knee and Achilles tendon injuries and said he had hurt himself on the first tee shot.

“The knee acted up and then the Achilles followed after that and then the calf started cramping up. Everything started getting tight, so it’s just a whole chain reaction,” he told reporters. “This morning, it felt fine during warm-up and then as I played it got progressively worse,” said Woods. After bogeying the first hole, he found water twice at the par-four fourth where he ended with a triple bogey.

Further bogeys came on the fifth and ninth holes for Woods, who walked slowly and deliberately on the final holes before quitting.

He missed last week’s tournament at Quail Hollow due to injury and on Tuesday played his first nine holes of golf since last month’s Masters.

Woods conceded he might have been wiser to withdraw earlier rather than battle to the turn but said he had been given the go-ahead to play at TPC Sawgrass from his doctors.

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