It will be the 10th time Woods is unable to defend a title in official PGA Tour events, with six of those related to reconstructive surgery on his left knee after he won the 2008 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines. The last time he failed to defend was in 2010 at Bay Hill, when he was returning from the scandal in his personal life.
His website said he felt minor discomfort before going to Merion and aggravated the area last week.
Woods extended his regrets to AT&T, secondary sponsors and fans in Washington for not being able to play.
“The AT&T National means a lot to me and my foundation,” he said. “It’s especially difficult not defending at my own tournament. It’s going to be a great event, and I look forward to being there to provide my support.”
AT&T is under contract as title sponsor through 2014. The Dallas-based company recently announced that it would take over as title sponsor for the Byron Nelson Championship starting in 2015. It also is the longtime title sponsor at Pebble Beach.
The British Open is July 18-21 at Muirfield, where Woods’ bid for the calendar Grand Slam ended in 2002 when he was caught in nasty weather. Woods shot 81 in the third round _ 10 players failed to break 80 _ for his highest score as a pro.