Northern Ireland’s Graeme McDowell will replace Tiger Woods at this week’s Chevron World Challenge in California following the world number one’s withdrawal from the exclusive limited field event.

Woods said injuries sustained in a car accident on Friday morning have forced him to pull out. The 33-year-old was found semi-conscious with facial injuries after his car reportedly hit a fire hydrant and tree.

“I am extremely disappointed that I will not be at my tournament this week,” Woods said in a statement on his official website.

“I am certain it will be an outstanding event and I’m very sorry that I can’t be there.”

Woods also confirmed he will not participate in any further tournaments in 2009, although next official PGA Tour event does not take place until the new year.

The World Challenge starts on Thursday at the Sherwood Country Club in Thousand Oaks, California.

On his inclusion, McDowell’s management team commented: “We were in touch with the event organisers at the Tiger Woods Foundation yesterday while at Mission Hills in China, during Graeme’s final round at the World Cup with Irish teammate Rory McIlroy“.

“They informed us that there was a possibility that Tiger may withdraw from this week’s tournament, and asked if Graeme would be prepared to potentially accept a late invitation, should a spot in the exclusive 18-man field become available”.

McDowell today accepted an invitation to play in the 2009 Chevron World Challenge following Tiger’s announcement that he will now not be competing at Sherwood Country Club this week.

Although the $5.75m (£3.495m) tournament is not an official PGA Tour event, it features 12 of the world’s top 20 players.