What happened
Tiger Woods cut his 2008 golf season short on Wednesday, saying he would have surgery to repair damage to a ligament in his left knee. The news came two days after Woods endured a 19-hole playoff, occasionally clutching his knee and grimacing in pain, to win the U.S. Open. (The New York Times)

What the commentators said
This “stunning news” only makes Woods’ U.S. Open feat more spectacular, said Christine Brennan in USA Today. “We now know he gritted out all those big drives, made all those miraculous shots, and holed all those magnificent putts on a knee that wasn't yet healed from April surgery. And on a leg with stress fractures in two places.”

Clearly, the pain Woods endured over “his compelling five days and 91 holes of golf” was worse than fans thought, said Ann Killion in the San Jose Mercury News. The question now is whether the greatest golfer ever can return to his form. He’s just four major tournament wins shy of Jack Nicklaus’ record of 18 career championships, but at age 32 the road to recovery will be long, slow, and uncertain.

How could Woods have risked his career just to prove that he could beat the rest of the pack standing on one leg? said Gwen Knapp in the San Francisco Chronicle. “A wiser man would have traded that one Open trophy for a healthier leg,” and simply gone for a “less strenuous” championship, the PGA, this summer. But “Tiger Woods is an idiot. A mesmerizing, peerless, incandescent idiot.”