Tiger Woods PGA Tour notebook: Tiger Woods out up to six weeks after knee surgery

Two days after his Grand Slam hopes were dashed by a runner-up finish in the Masters, Tiger Woods underwent successful arthroscopic surgery on his left knee Tuesday, according to his Web site.

Woods is expected to be out of action for four to six weeks, but anticipates being back in time to play in the U.S. Open June 12-15 at Torrey Pines. Dr. Thomas D. Rosenberg performed the surgery at Healthsouth Medical Center in Park City, Utah.

"I made the decision to deal with the pain and schedule the surgery after the Masters," Woods said in a statement on his Web site. "The upside is that I have been through this process before and know how to handle it.

"I look forward to working through the rehabilitation process and getting back to action as quickly as I can."

Woods' agent, Mark Steinberg, said Woods has been experiencing pain in his knee since the middle of last year and that after being examined by doctors, arthroscopic surgery was recommended.

"Cartilage damage was found during the procedure, which Dr. Rosenberg was able to correct," Steinberg said in a statement, also posted on Woods' Web site. "Tiger has played through the pain in the past, but knew it would be better for him to have the procedure done as early as possible."

This marks the third time Woods has had surgery on his left knee. Before turning pro, he had surgery to remove a benign cyst in 1994 and then had arthroscopic surgery on the same knee in December of 2002.

Woods will have approximately eight weeks to recuperate before the U.S. Open. Following his 2002 knee surgery, Woods returned to the PGA Tour in February of 2003 and won three of his first four starts.

Prior to finishing three shots behind champion Trevor Immelman in the Masters, Woods had won three of his four PGA Tour starts in 2008.

PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem said Woods will be missed in the events he'll likely be forced to skip. That probably includes defending his title in the Wachovia Championship May 1-4 and the Players Championship, which is scheduled for May 8-11.

"Of course, we're disappointed when Tiger is unable to compete in a PGA Tour event," Finchem said in a statement on the PGA Tour's Web site. "He's the No. 1 player in the world and a fan favorite wherever he goes. There is really never a good time for an athlete — especially one of Tiger's caliber — to take weeks off from competition during the season, but his health concerns have to come first.

"We wish him the best toward a speedy recovery and look forward to welcoming him back to the Tour when he is ready and able to compete."

No regrets for Brandt Snedeker

Despite a disastrous up-and-down final round in the Masters that left him tied for third and breaking into tears, Brandt Snedeker said Tuesday that the past week was a great experience that he'll never forget.

Snedeker trailed eventual Masters winner Trevor Immelman by two shots heading into the final round and was playing with Immelman in the final paring Sunday. However, the 2007 PGA Tour rookie of the year carded nine bogeys and wound up shooting 5-over-par 77 at Augusta National Golf Club.

"It was a great week, obviously a lot of disappointment on Sunday — I think you all kind of saw the emotions run over," Snedeker told reporters Tuesday during a press conference for the Verizon Heritage. "I don't regret anything that happened on Sunday. I don't regret how I played. I don't regret how I handled myself afterwards. I just felt like that's who I am.

"I left it all out on the golf course on Sunday and I was just emotionally drained from the week. The pressure finally got to me, I guess, and I hadn't really felt it all week and on Sunday when I got done I saw my family and let everything out."

Snedeker said the reaction of fans since his outpouring of emotion has been incredible.

"Fans kind of helped me get over what happened Sunday the most," Snedeker said. "I've gotten more emails, more texts, more notes from people just saying they were so proud of the way I played. I mean, I can't believe people actually feel sorry for me.

"I'm sitting there smiling, saying, 'I just finished third in the Masters. Nobody died, we're fine [and] life goes on.' It's not a big deal. There's a whole lot more important stuff in the world to worry about than me crying because I played one bad round of golf."

Els on autism

With April being National Autism Month, Ernie Els said he's hoping to help raise awareness about the affliction. Els recently revealed that his six-year-old son, Ben, has autism.

"Obviously we've got to get the word out even more this month, basically because it's going to affect so many more people in the future — young families are going to be affected," Els told reporters Tuesday in Hilton Head, S.C., where he's preparing to play in the Verizon Heritage. "One in every 150 kids is being affected by autism … so you're going to have a lot of people in the very near future that are going to have to deal with raising kids with autism."

Despite his son being autistic and also having epilepsy, Els said Ben is doing well.

"He's got quite a sense of humor, Ben has, and he will test you," Els said. "He's a great kid, really. He's quite happy."

Briefly

• Since winning the Masters Sunday, Trevor Immelman has had little time to kick back and enjoy his first major championship. On Monday, he took in an NBA basketball game at Madison Square Garden between the New York Knicks and Boston Celtics and was invited into the Celtics locker room at halftime by coach Doc Rivers. Immelman has also taken part in several radio and television interviews, making appearances on the "Late Show with David Letterman" and "Live with Regis and Kelly."

• Tiger Woods isn't the only well-known professional golfer to have surgery in the past few days. The Associated Press reported that John Daly had surgery to repair a torn stomach muscle over the weekend. According to the report, the injury occurred in the 2007 Honda Classic when Daly attempted to stop his swing after hearing a camera click.

• PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem wrote in a blog on the PGA Tour's Web site that he would support golf returning as an Olympic sport after an absence of more than a century. Finchem wrote that Olympic participation would give a "significant boost" to the popularity and perception of golf around the world.

• Five-time Harbour Town champion and leading all-time money winner Davis Love III will be making his 23rd consecutive appearance on Hilton Head Island this week in the Verizon Heritage. Love, who is from nearby Sea Island, Ga., has won 19 PGA Tour events and more than $35 million in his career.

April 16, 2008

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