(AP) — A collection of quotes reacting to Tiger Woods missing the rest of the season to undergo knee surgery:
“I’m sorry about Tiger having to miss the rest of the year due to more knee surgery. I know how frustrating it was to lose most of last summer to my wrist injury, but I expect him to be back as strong as ever and look forward to competing with him as soon as possible.” — Phil Mickelson.
“Tiger is our tour. When you lose your star player, it definitely hurts. It’s definitely an opportunity for us, for sure. But still, you want to beat the best.” — Kenny Perry
“We sent him flowers for winning the U.S. Open. Now I wish I had put in a note of condolences. But this is not about Tiger and the Ryder Cup. It’s about Tiger getting better and his march to history.” — Ryder Cup captain Paul Azinger.
“It’s pretty sad to know he’s not going to play the rest of the season. But he needs to fix his knee. The sad thing is it’s the wrong knee. It’s the left knee that takes all the torque. He needs to fix that, and I think he’s doing the right thing.” — Vijay Singh.
“Gives us a chance to win now, I guess. It is a blow to all the fans who follow him, the sponsors. The money wouldn’t be where it is if it wasn’t for him. A lot of people don’t realize, if it wasn’t for Tiger, we wouldn’t be playing for what we are now.” — John Daly.
“To hear he is not going to play for the rest of the year is a massive blow to golf. For guys teeing up in the Open and the U.S. PGA, guys might think they have a chance now, but personally I think it is very, very sad.” — European tour player Ross Fisher.
“For an athlete as talented and competitive as Tiger Woods, taking the rest of the season off must have been an incredibly difficult, yet necessary decision, one that we understand and support completely. The fact that he needs additional surgery only makes his performance and victory at last week’s U.S. Open all the more impressive.” — PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem.
“I’m sure he’s bummed about this, but I also think it’s a good decision. He has so many years ahead of him and so many records to break that this is obviously the right decision for him. He will get a chance to recover and come back and be strong again. The pain that it looked like he had was, you know, who wants to live with that?” — Annika Sorenstam.
“In every sport, I don’t know an athlete who doesn’t push it. That’s how you get extraordinary performances like happened last week. People push themselves, and sometimes they fail and sometimes they succeed.” — Notah Begay III.
“Obviously, with him gone, you’re going to see fewer people coming out to the events, but I don’t think it will hurt golf in general. It’s only going to be a short period of time. Now if it were a five-year period, that would be a lot different. I think there were six or seven events he was going to play in for the rest of the year, and that gives us six or seven more chances to win.” — Ben Curtis.
“There will be debate whether he rushed back for the U.S. Open. But I don’t think there will be any debate that he rushes back from his next surgery. He won’t need to. Augusta is in April.” — Mark Steinberg, Woods’ agent at IMG.
“From the point of view of going to Birkdale in a few weeks, it is an advantage and we have a chance. The best player in the world by a long way is not going to be there.” — Graeme McDowell.
“Tiger is an enormous attraction, there’s no denying that. But the Open Championship has had many exciting finishes which Tiger has not been part of, and I’m sure there will be more. It’s very sad. We’re very sorry that he’s succumbed to the injury and he won’t be competing in the Open. We hope he has the speediest recovery.” — Royal & Ancient chief executive Peter Dawson.