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It is well-documented that Tiger Woods has not been the same since his near-fatal car crash Feb. 23, 2021. The Big Cat underwent emergency surgery that was able to save his leg, but took a significant toll on his mobility and functionality.
Tiger Woods is hurting.
Woods admitted before The Masters that while his endurance and caliber of play was up, as was his discomfort. His leg ached more than it had before, and his caddie offered a discouraging update on how the 47-year-old felt.
In the end, after a push for history in the cold and rain Saturday, Augusta National became too much for Woods. He had to withdraw before the continuation of the third round Sunday.
This past weekend’s tournament was not the first at which Woods had to bow out. He also withdrew, for the first time in his career, at the 2022 PGA Championship in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
And now we know why. Jason Day revealed the reason on Sunday and it’s gruesome.
Part of Woods’ 2021 surgery involved intramedullary nailing, when a permanent metal rod was placed into the center of his tibia. The rod is further stabilized with screws at both ends of the bone to help keep both the rod and the bone in the proper position.
At some point during his weekend at Southern Hills last May, one of the screws punctured his skin.
I was talking to him at the end of last year, and then he was saying the reason why he pulled out of the PGA [Championship] was a screw went through the skin on Saturday or whatever it was.— Jason Day at The Masters in 2023
Was Day supposed to share that information? Eh, probably not. Does it help provide a greater understanding of the struggle that Woods continues to face? Absolutely.
Over the course of the last two years, Woods has been vocal about how he can only do what his body lets him. That was abundantly clear again Sunday morning at The Masters, and Day’s backstory from a year(ish) ago really puts things in perspective.
Woods was finishing his third round at the PGA Championship with a metal screw sticking out of his skin. Gnarly!