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Tiger Woods and daughter Sam will not be at Oakland Hills in August. (Photo: Getty Images)

Knee surgery knocks Woods out of 90th PGA Championship

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Tiger Woods underwent season-ending reconstructive surgery on his left knee June 24, forcing the world No. 1 to miss the 90th PGA Championship at Oakland Hills and marking the first time in his career he will not play in the season's final major championship.

Tiger Woods has withdrawn from the 90th PGA Championship following reconstructive surgery on his left knee June 24. Woods, who announced his injury and the surgery just days after winning the 108th U.S. Open in a playoff over Rocco Mediate for his 14th career major title, will be out of competitive golf for the remainder of the 2008 season.

"Once again this weekend, Tiger showed his special brand of skill and determination that makes him our game's greatest champion," PGA of America President Brian Whitcomb said shortly after the U.S. Open. "As a fellow PGA Member and friend we wish him a full and speedy recovery."

Woods also will miss the 2008 Ryder Cup in September, meaning the ninth player on the U.S. standings after the PGA Championship will qualify for the team. Woods, a five-time Ryder Cup member, had been the runaway leader in points among U.S. players.

"I admire Tiger as a person, player and fan," said U.S. Ryder Cup captain Paul Azinger. "This should not be about Tiger and the Ryder Cup now. This is about Tiger's health and well-being and his march to history."

Woods also will miss the Open Championship in July at Royal Birkdale, where he would have been going for his fourth Claret Jug and third in four years

"The R&A was very sorry to hear that Tiger is having a continuing problem with his knee," said Peter Dawson, Chief Executive of The R&A. "We will miss him at The Open Championship at Royal Birkdale and we wish him well for the speediest possible recovery."

In addition, Woods will miss the PGA Grand Slam of Golf in Bermuda in October, where he would have been looking to add to his record seven victories.

Woods suffered a double stress fracture of his left tibia two weeks before the U.S. Open, ignoring doctors' advice to take six weeks off to let it heal. And he still won the U.S. Open at Torrey Pines, going 91 holes over five days on a knee that was getting worse.

"Now, it is clear that the right thing to do is to listen to my doctors, follow through with this surgery and focus my attention on rehabilitating my knee," Woods said on his Web site.

He had arthroscopic surgery April 15 to clean out cartilage in his left knee, bypassing ACL surgery with hopes it could get him through the 2008 season. But the stress fracture and a ligament that could no longer sustain a powerful swing made it impossible to keep going.

Woods' swing coach, Hank Haney, said the recovery is typically six to eight months.

"He's been playing way less than 100 percent for a long, long, time," Haney said. "It has limited him a lot in practice. He's going to come back better than he's ever been."

The surgery makes his 14th major title even more staggering -- despite the stress fractures, he managed to win a U.S. Open that required five days of flinching, grimacing and a long list of spectacular shots that have defined his career.

"Although I will miss the rest of the 2008 season, I'm thrilled with the fact that last week was such a special tournament," Woods said.

He won despite doctors telling him to rest.

Haney was with him in Florida when doctors told Woods the preferred treatment for the stress fractures was three weeks on crutches and three weeks of inactivity.

"Tiger looked at the doctor and said, 'I'm playing in the U.S. Open, and I'm going to win.' And then he started putting on his shoes," Haney said. "He looked at me and said, 'Come on, Hank. We'll just putt today.'"

Woods' ledger for 2008 is a career for some players.

He played only seven times worldwide and won five times, including a major that allowed him to join Jack Nicklaus as the only players to capture the career Grand Slam three times over.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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