to miss Mercedes Championship
Tiger Woods will miss the 2003
PGA Tour's season-opening Mercedes Championships in Hawaii after having surgery
on his left knee last week, the tournament director has said.
a successful one-hour procedure to remove fluid inside and outside the anterior
cruciate ligament but his manager Mark Steinberg has since ruled out any chance
of the world number one playing in Maui from January 9-12.
"I am trying
to put as positive a spin on this as I can," tournament director Gary Planos
told Reuters. "But our first concern is Tiger's surgery and his rehabilitation.
"We sure want to see Tiger get well -- we enjoy watching him as much
as everyone else does."
Planos said he had been told by Steinberg
on the phone that Woods "would not be able to come to Hawaii due to his surgery".
It will be the first time that the 26-year-old Woods has missed a tournament
"I had been playing in pain for most of the year and
felt it was time to take care of it," Woods said after his arthroscopic surgery.
"From what I've been told, the operation went well. I'm looking forward
to a full recovery and a great start to 2003."
Dr. Thomas Rosenberg,
the surgeon who carried out last Thursday's procedure, said the world number one
should be fully fit again by February.
"Progressive full recovery
is expected over the next couple of months," said Rosenberg.
was a five times winner on this year's PGA Tour, including the first two majors
of the season -- the U.S. Masters and U.S. Open.
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