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Tiger Woods withdraws from 2011 U.S. Open

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A couple hours ago, Tiger Woods posted a tweet that surprised many and confirmed the fears of some: his physical state is far from perfect--so far, in fact, that he will be forced to miss next week's U.S. Open at Congressional Country Club. His tweet reads:

Not playing in US Open. Very disappointed. Short-term frustration for long-term gain.

It is nearly three years, now, since Woods won his last major championship, the 2008 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines' South Course. He needed 91 holes--regulation, plus an 18 hole playoff, plus a sudden-death playoff hole--in order to finally defeat underdog Rocco Mediate. Throughout the tournament, it was clear that he was in considerable pain stemming from his left knee. Two days after the remarkable triumph, Woods announced that he would miss the remainder of the 2008 PGA Tour season in the wake of surgery to repair his left ACL.

Now, Woods is again citing his left knee as the source of trouble. He withdrew midway through his first round at the Players Championship in May and has not indicated when next he will play tournament golf. There is still no timetable for his return beyond a message on Woods' website indicating that he hopes to be able to play in this year's AT&T National, June 30th through July 3rd, for which he has served as tournament host since its inception.

The announcement confirms the suspicions of those who have posited that Woods' left leg is nowhere near 100% strength. Now there will be suspicion and speculation that that leg may never fully heal and allow Woods to play near the consistently high level to which he treated the golf world from 1997 until 2008. As always with injuries, time will tell.

Here are some links to Connecticut-based fitness outfits that offer golf-specific conditioning programs, so that you may be able to avoid golf-related injury:

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