Photo Via RICHARD HEATHCOTE VIA GETTY IMAGES
A few months ago I wrote two positive articles on Tiger Woods. One was before the Hero World Challenge and the other was after. The first discussed that Tiger wasn’t that far removed from being number one in the world. Yes, that Tiger wasn’t the dominant Tiger of old, but he was still the best player in the world, which, in my opinion, is still reachable. I then went on, in the second article, to discuss how he played in the Hero World Challenge. It was an impressive display, giving hope for the future. He played well throughout parts but lacked consistency. Something that could be fixed.
However, all that confidence has quickly faded. He came back a few weeks ago and played abysmally where he missed the cut at the Farmers Insurance Open. He then followed it up with another terrible performance at the Dubai Desert Classic. He shot a 77 and withdrew before his 2nd round because of back spasms. However, according to this timeline (courtesy of Golf Channel), Tiger Woods told the media that he was pain-free after his first round, despite Tiger’s agent, Mark Steinberg, saying he experienced back spasms. It is not entirely clear what is going on with Tiger Woods. Are the back spasms an excuse for his poor play? Or are there actually issues with his back impeding him from playing? Obviously, both don’t look good, but for Tiger’s sake, let’s hope the complications with his back prove to be minor.
Tiger’s injury creates multiple concerns. The first makes us question if Tiger Woods will ever be healthy again. It is such a bummer, but it is the reality of sports. We have seen it happen to almost every elite athlete. Just recently, we saw Kobe Bryant and Peyton Manning have to deal with it. They gave the impression that their careers would last forever, but at some point, they hit a wall. Whatever happens, they are not the same player they once were, and are just an everyday athlete. It doesn’t come gradually, it happens like an avalanche. Tiger Woods has always had injury issues, but we have seen him bounce back every time. However, as time goes on, this looks like the one injury that will catapult him face first into that wall.
The back injury is recurring. It doesn’t seem probable that he will ever be able to take on any sort of heavy workload, like playing in multiple tournaments in a row without his back acting up. It is worrisome because he obviously needs to be healthy to play, and with the recent news, the chances are higher that we may never see a healthy Tiger Woods again. If we do, it may not be for very long.
“There is no chance in hell that he is going to make the cut at the upcoming Masters.”
Lack of Reps
Secondly, Tiger’s injury prohibits him from being able to take necessary reps. It was apparent he needs all the reps he could get after watching him struggle through the last two tournaments. The only way he comes back is IF he stays healthy. Even IF he can stay healthy, there is no guarantee he becomes good again. The bummer is that Tiger has to miss the next two tournaments. Even if the injury is minor, which it seems like it is, it is costing him two chances to play, which are huge in the scheme of things. Without these valuable reps, there is no chance in hell that he is going to make the cut at the upcoming Masters. Tiger needs all the reps he can get, but with the recent struggle to stay healthy, it looks more and more likely there is not going to be a 2017 Tiger Woods comeback story. And if there is not one this year, then there probably won’t ever be one.
Ryan is currently a student at the University of North Carolina. He grew up in the Bay Area and has had Raiders season tickets his entire life fostering his love for the NFL. He has founded his own sports website, thejrreport.com and works at the Sports Desk for the Daily Tar Heel. You can follow Ryan on twitter @rytime98 if you want to discuss anything sports.