Yep, here we go again. For the seventh time since 2012, Tiger Woods has withdrawn from a golf tournament due to back related injuries. Over the last couple months, especially at the Open and last week in New Jersey, Woods has looked out of touch, monotonous, and tired.
Clearly something was and is wrong, yet the injury is passed as a minor oblique injury. We’ve seen this before, Woods plays visibly hurt, but keeps pushing until he has nothing left. When nothing is left, inevitably surgery often follows, hence the eight previous in the past ten years.
Woods gave us “the greatest scene in golf forever” as Nick Faldo rightfully stated, after claiming Augusta after an eleven year major championship drought.
Did anybody think Woods could win the Masters this year? No. Did I? No way. By the time he tapped in to seal the most prominent comeback in the history of sports, I still didn’t think it was possible. For so long, golf fans and sports fans alike had been waiting for that moment on that stage. Woods delivered, immediately forcing me to question my doubts.
Many pundits and casual golf watching “sports commentators” (aka Stephen A. Smith) had written Woods off countless times over the past five years. I myself was skeptical, but never debated his desire to win again. He proved them wrong after eleven years without a major championship, and to put that into perspective, I watched his last major victory on a box TV when I was nine.
Woods achieved what was thought to be unachievable. He got his triumphant, sport-defining moment, following a career of unparalleled highs and crashing lows. I’m not going to set off a hot take and claim Woods is on his last leg, but he has to be close.
On Tuesday, Woods announced he was feeling “much better” and planned to play in this week’s BMW Championship. They haven’t shown much footage of Woods in the pro-am or practicing this week, but there’s obvious argument to skepticism here. Based off Woods’s horrid demeanor: barely being able to place the ball on the tee, leading to a 2nd to last place opening round and withdrawal, I’m worried. Forget playing, the Presidents Cup captain’s main focus must be avoiding a ninth career surgery. Golf aside, another surgery would put his overall health back into a spiral. Although he may not be done, soon enough Woods will break his body or finally realize he doesn’t have enough firepower to compete with the increasingly talented field. At least we got Augusta 2019.