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Koepka leads, Woods withdraws as The Masters enters the final stretch

Apr 9, 2023, 10:14 AM | Updated: 10:39 am

AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) — Tiger Woods ended his streak of completing all 72 holes of every tournament he has played at Augusta National as a professional, after withdrawing Sunday morning due to injury as Brooks Koepka seeks his first victory at The Masters.

The tournament announced about 90 minutes before play began that Woods, who is still hobbled by the effects of the 2021 car accident that nearly cost him his right leg, had withdrawn. He’d limped through practice rounds early in the week and again during the first and second rounds, but the limp had become more pronounced as the weather worsened.

“I am disappointed to have to WD this morning due to reaggravating my plantar fasciitis,” Woods said on Twitter. “Thank you to the fans and to (at) The Masters who have shown me so much love and support. Good luck to the players today!”

The five-time champion finished his second round in cold, driving rain on Saturday to make the cut on the number at 3 over, extending his Masters streak to 23 straight and tying Fred Couples and Gary Player for the longest in history.

Koepka, though, is 18 holes away from winning his fifth major championship and striking a blow for LIV Golf.

The 32-year-old Koepka holds a two-stroke lead over Spain’s Jon Rahm entering the final round of the weather-delayed Masters. Koepka shot 73 for the third round and is a 11 under for the tournament. Rahm also posted a 73 for the round that started on Saturday prior to being suspended because of weather.

The weather has improved with no rain in the forecast.

Woods captured his fifth green jacket in 2019 when he finished one shot ahead of Koepka, Dustin Johnson and Xander Schauffele. It was his first major win in 11 years and, at age 43, Woods became the second-oldest player to win the Masters after Jack Nicklaus, who was 46 when he won his sixth green jacket in 1986.

Koepka is seeking his first win at The Masters. Besides the second-place finish to Woods in 2019, he finished seventh in 2020, and 11th in 2017.

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Koepka leads, Woods withdraws as The Masters enters the final stretch