US Open - Woods pulls out of US Open
Tiger Woods has pulled out of the US Open after struggling to recover from a pair of injuries.
The 14-times Major champion has failed to recover from Achilles' and ankle problems, and will miss his national championship for the first time since 1994.
"I am extremely disappointed that I won't be playing in the US Open, but it's time for me to listen to my doctors and focus on the future," Woods said in a statement.
"I was hopeful that I could play, but if I did, I risk further damage to my left leg. My knee and Achilles' tendon are not fully healed. I hope to be ready for AT&T National (in July), the next two Majors and the rest of the year."
Woods strained his ligaments hitting a shot off pine needles in the third round of the Masters in April, and though he described it as a "minor injury" at the time he has still yet to recover - and was forced to pull out of the recent Players Championship after just nine holes.
Missing the US Open will be a severe blow for the former world number one: three years ago he played the tournament despite a crumbling knee that was in desperate need of treatment. He won that year's event at Torrey Pines in San Diego after a memorable play-off with Rocco Mediate.
Woods had played in each of the last 15 US Opens, winning the championship in 2000, 2002 and 2008, and tournament officials said his place would be given to 23-year-old amateur Michael Whitehead from Sugar Land, Texas.
"We are disappointed that Tiger Woods, a three-time champion, will not be able to play in the 2011 US Open," US Golf Association Executive Director Mike Davis said in a statement.
"We completely understand that he is not fully recovered from his injuries and we wish him a speedy recovery. The excitement that he generates will be missed..."
Woods needs just four more Major titles to match the record of 18 held by Jack Nicklaus, has not won a Major since the 2008 US Open nor any tournament worldwide in nearly 19 months and has slipped to 15th in the world rankings.
Apart from his injury woes, he has also been trying to rebuild his golf swing and his private life after the break-up of his marriage.
The 35-year-old admitted that he has found it difficult dealing with his woes.
"It's been a frustrating and difficult year, but I'm committed to my long-term health," he added.
"I want to thank the fans for their encouragement and support. I am truly grateful and will be back playing when I can."