Tiger Woods: Will Injured Achilles Keep Him out of the Masters?

David KindervaterCorrespondent IMarch 12, 2012

MIAMI, FL - MARCH 11:  Tiger Woods watches his tee shot on the ninth hole during the final round of the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship on the TPC Blue Monster at Doral Golf Resort And Spa on March 11, 2012 in Miami, Florida.  (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
Scott Halleran/Getty Images

One week after Tiger Woods carded the best final round of his incredible 16-year PGA Tour career, he suffered a leg injury that leaves his participation in the year's first major championship, the Masters Tournament, in question.

Tiger Woods withdrew from competition during the final round of the WGC-Cadillac Championship yesterday, limping off the TPC Blue Monster course at Doral Golf Resort and Spa after 12 holes due to tightness in his left Achilles.

Yes, it's the same Achilles he injured at the Masters Tournament last year, a setback that, in part, caused him to miss much of the 2011 season.

Tiger left the golf course without talking to reporters, but he issued the following statement regarding his injury last night:

I felt tightness in my left Achilles warming up this morning, and it continued to get progressively worse.

After hitting my tee shot at 12, I decided it was necessary to withdraw. In the past, I may have tried to continue to play, but this time, I decided to do what I thought was necessary.

I'll get my Achilles evaluated sometime early next week.

I hope he meant to say this week, not next week.

Nevertheless, before everyone gets too bent out of shape, it's important to note he was only experiencing tightness in his Achilles. He did say it got worse as his round progressed, but I believe he did the right thing by withdrawing from the tournament when he did. I'm not a doctor, but he probably averted long-term damage that might have prevented his participation in the Masters Tournament.

Then again, Achilles injuries can linger and can be difficult to overcome.

Only time will tell how badly Tiger is injured and what effect this setback will have on his upcoming schedule.

It was extremely disappointing to see Tiger limping off the golf course yesterday, though.

Like him or not, the game of golf and the PGA Tour needs Tiger Woods. Hopefully, he will get the treatment he needs and he will be able to return sooner—much sooner—rather than later.

Even if Tiger has to miss the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill next week, a tournament he recently added to his 2012 schedule, it will be a small price to pay for making sure we see him at the Masters Tournament exactly three weeks from today.