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The Inside Track

Woods Withdraws From Western Open

July 03, 2002|From Wire Reports

LEMONT, Ill. — Tiger Woods withdrew Tuesday from this week's Western Open, citing an unspecified illness.

Woods made the announcement on his Web site. He notified the PGA of his decision Tuesday morning, Western Open spokesman Gary Holloway said.

"Naturally, we are disappointed he has had to withdraw," said John Kaczkowski, tournament director for the sponsoring Western Golf Assn. "We appreciate the ongoing relationship we have enjoyed with Tiger since 1992, when he competed in the Western Junior."

Kaczkowski wished Woods well in his pursuit of golf's Grand Slam. Woods has won the Masters and the U.S. Open, and had planned to make the Western his final tuneup for the British Open, which will be played July 18-21 at Muirfield, Scotland.

But Woods instead decided to remain home to rest, according to his Web site. The announcement gave no details on Woods' illness.

Woods has played the Western Open seven of the last eight years and won in 1997 and 1999.

The $4-million tournament begins Thursday at Cog Hill Golf and Country Club near Chicago. Scott Hoch is the defending champion.

Woods, 26, hasn't played since winning last month's U.S. Open. He did not play in last week's St. Jude Classic at Memphis, Tenn., to be the best man at the wedding of Jerry Chang, a long-time friend and former Stanford teammate.

PGA Tour rookie Brenden Pappas replaced Woods in the tournament.

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