Woods skips Players Championship practice

Tiger Woods skipped his final practice round for the Players Championship on Wednesday amid rumours that he had flown to California to be with his ailing father.

“Tiger Woods was off site today for personal reasons, but intends to be back at the TPC Sawgrass in time for his first-round tee time Thursday at 12.33pm [5.33pm GMT],” Woods’s manager, Mark Steinberg, said in a statement.

Earl Woods (74) still lives in Cypress, California, where he raised Tiger and has been battling cancer for the past two years.

When Tiger Woods won his fourth Masters title last April, he cried at the presentation ceremony over the fact that his father was not able to be there. “This one’s for you, Pops,” he said following his victory.

Despite the concern over his father’s health, Woods is off to a strong start this season, winning three of his first six events.

The Players Championship will be his last tune-up before heading to the Augusta National to chase his fifth Masters victory.

Meanwhile, Chris DiMarco, loser to Woods in a play-off at Augusta last year, has withdrawn from The Players Championship and been replaced by Colombia’s Camilo Villegas.

DiMarco suffered a rib-muscle injury during a family vacation in Colorado last weekend and aggravated it on Sunday during practice.—Sapa-AFP

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