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Both Tiger Woods & Rocco Mediate to miss Torrey Pines

American Rocco Mediate, beaten by Tiger Woods in a gripping playoff for last year’s U.S. Open at Torrey Pines, has pulled out of this week’s Buick Invitational being held at the same venue.

Mediate, who led Woods by a stroke playing the last before losing to a regulation par at the 19th hole on the South Course, withdrew citing personal reasons, the PGA Tour said on Monday.

World number one Woods, a six-times winner of the Buick Invitational, will also be a conspicuous absentee at Torrey Pines this week, while recovering from reconstructive knee surgery.

Woods has not played competitive golf since his extraordinary playoff victory over Mediate last June, when he defied sporadic knee pain to clinch his 14th major title.

The four-time defending champion at the Buick Invitational, Woods is not expected to return to competition until at least next month.

Although the timing of his comeback has been the subject of much speculation, the likeliest tournament is the March 12-15 WGC-CA Championship in Miami to help him prepare for the Masters in April.

Irish world number three Padraig Harrington, who claimed the last two majors of 2008 in Woods’s absence, will head this week’s field at Torrey Pines in his first appearance on the 2009 PGA Tour.

Other leading players who will tee off in Thursday’s opening round of the fifth event of the season include three-times champion Phil Mickelson and world number 11 Camilo Villegas of Colombia.

 

February 3, 2009




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