Tiger Tale Grows Scary For Future
OK, now it’s starting to get a little scary.
This Tiger Woods injury that keeps popping up is beginning to look like something that could be capable of putting a halt to his reign over professional golf.
A messed-up knee and an aching Achilles tendon may do something that all the golfers in the world couldn’t do — turn Tiger into just another player trying to make an occasional cut.
The problem here isn’t just the injuries. Believe it or not, age is becoming a factor for the Chosen One. He’s 35 now, and while that isn’t a scary number for the average golfer, it may be telling for a prodigy such as Tiger.
Even golf can take its toll over the years. Weekend or recreational golfers don’t think much about burnout from the sport. Playing a couple of rounds a week for 50 years is more fun than anything else. That’s why we do it.
But Tiger Woods has been in the golf spotlight since he was 3 years old. His entire life has revolved around the game. There was never anything else he was going to be other than a golfer.
For the past 15 years or so he’s been the best golfer in the world. The game came easy to him. Easy, that is, if you consider spending your life working on your game and hitting golf balls for hours on end day after day.
Golf is really the only thing Tiger ever knew. Until he learned about girls, of course. But that’s another story, even though his problems in that area are well-documented.
The overriding question here is, just how serious is this injury? Could it possibly end his career? Does it put an end to his quest for supplanting Jack Nicklaus as the all-time major tournament winner? Will it affect an already uncertain swing?
I have felt for the past decade that Tiger Woods was the best golfer who ever played. I felt that way because he could do things on the golf course that no one else had ever been able to accomplish.
Yes, Ben Hogan was a wonderful player. Bob Jones was a master of the game. Arnold Palmer is still “The King” and Jack Nicklaus was the biggest, baddest bear to ever roam the fairways. But Tiger was better.
Many felt that whether Tiger would become known as the greatest golfer ever depended on whether he could supplant Nicklaus as the all-time majors winner.
Nicklaus set the standard with 18 and Woods was far ahead of Jack’s pace when he won his 14th major in 2009.
But that’s when the real problems began. There was a knee problem that kept flaring up. There was a Thanksgiving auto crash that will never go away. There were dents in a Cadillac Escalade and in Tiger’s body that have yet to be fully explained.
Still, everyone seemed to think that all the scars, physical and emotional, would eventually heal. After all, Tiger is Tiger and he’s invincible. Just ask a guy named Rocco Mediate.
But Tiger didn’t just have to work on his physical ailments. He was deeply hurt by the loss of his family. His bankroll was sufficiently dented from a nasty divorce settlement to make him need to find some new endorsements and resume his chase of becoming the all-time majors winner.
So now Tiger’s got a new divorce, a new golf coach and a new high-profile girlfriend. But this blonde says she’s not serous, she’s just out to have fun.
As for his new coach, well, the revamped swing has yet to become a natural thing, and Tiger’s game, even when he was healthy, is nowhere near as good as it had been forever.
Even more problematic is that fact that other golfers are no longer in awe of Tiger. That invincible aura that seemed to make mental wrecks of strong men and send them screaming into oblivion on Sunday afternoons appears to be gone.
So, can Tiger overcome all those odds to win four more majors? It’s doubtful. At the rate he’s going, his confidence will suffer and he’ll lose that mental edge that he always held.
He may have already done that.
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