DORAL, Fla. — Tiger Woods sat in the driver’s seat of his black Mercedes-Benz S65, the tinted windows obscuring most of his face. His caddie, Joe LaCava, sat to his right.
There would be no comment. Instead, a Miami Dade Fire Rescue vehicle, its empty stretchers poking out from the rear, pulled away from the car. Moments later, Woods was gone too, his round, his tournament and his left Achilles done for the day. Who knows what else is gone, too.
It was 4:40 Sunday afternoon when he left the Doral resort, site of the WGC-Cadillac Championship. About 10 minutes or so earlier, Woods had hit his best drive of Sunday’s final round, a towering 321-yard tee shot that landed in the fairway of 12th fairway.
But the grimace instantly gave it away. Then came the hard lean against his driver shaft. He was hurt.
Woods waited until his playing partner Webb Simpson hit his tee shot. Then he shook hands with Simpson and said, “I’ve got to go in.”
A cart was called and soon Woods and LaCava were taken on a back road to the players’ parking lot. And then he was gone. A statement by Woods was issued later:
“I felt tightness in my left Achilles warming up this morning and it continued to get progressively worse. … In the past, I may have tried to continue to play, but this time I decided to do what I thought was necessary.”
There were no other details, other than Woods said he expects to get the Achilles evaluated soon. Hmmm.
What does it all mean? Maybe nothing, maybe a lot.
The fact that Woods limped off the course rather than grind through the final seven holes is telling. At the very least, he was in considerable pain and concerned about injuring it further. Why risk missing next month’s Masters, right?
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