American golf star Tiger Woods has pulled out of next week's U.S. Open championship because of lingering issues with his left leg.
It will be the first time Woods has missed the U.S. Open since 1994, when he had just graduated from high school.
In making the announcement Tuesday, Woods said he is extremely disappointed but that it was time to listen to his doctors and focus on the future. He said he risked further damage to his left leg if he played. He added that his knee and Achilles tendon are not fully healed.
This year the U.S. Open will be played outside the nation's capital at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Maryland. It was last held there in 1997.
Woods has not won any of the 22 tournaments he has entered since the 2009 Australian Masters. He not only lost his No. 1 ranking late last year, he has fallen to No. 15 in the world. That is his lowest since early 1997.
The Masters is now the only major tournament Woods has played every year since turning pro. He was recovering from knee surgery in 2008 and did not play the British Open and PGA Championship.
Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.