Tiger out with Bad Back
Tiger Woods, world number 1, made one of the toughest phone calls he has ever had to make yesterday. He had to call Arnold Palmer to inform him that his back is not ready to play this week at Bay Hill. He went on to mention that it is way to early to make a decision about the Masters’s, but he did say that he is listening to his doctors and taking it one day at a time. Calling Palmer to withdraw from a tournament he has won 8 times and acknowledging that the Master’s, the tournament he holds dearest, may not be an option this year really puts into perspective how bad his back is. Having had both a hip and a knee replacement, and having battled a bad back since my junior year in college, I know how tough golf can be on the body and how significant those types of injures can have on a career. We have known about Tiger's knee issues long before he won the U.S. Open at Torrey Pines in 2008 on practically one leg (undergoing surgery the following week). In fact, one of the reasons many analysts believe he had to change his swing this last time was to protect his knee. The back issue seems to be a new beast for him, and only time will tell what kind of effect it has on his career. There is no doubt that Tiger is currently the hardest working player on tour, and has always worked very hard on his game his entire life. Golf has been Tiger's sport since he could walk and one has to wonder has this repetitive motion of a golf swing taken it's toll on his body.
Tiger has a rigorous work out schedule, and many have said that it might be too much- arguing that it adds even more of a toll to his body, but people need to understand that this intense regimen is crucial for him to continue his career. He has to keep his abs and glutes strong to protect his back, he has to keep his quads, hamstrings etc. strong to protect his knee. But will this be enough to keep him on the course?
We all know Tiger has been one of the greatest players to play the game and now we only have to wonder if injuries will end his career. He has been so good for the game of golf over the years. Now we are left to wonder if there will ever be another dominant player like Tiger. Is there another young player coming up through the ranks that will bring the excitement to the game like Tiger? Tiger had the game, the charisma, and the passion to get fans excited about golf (TV ratings alone are a testament to that).
I am certainly not ready for his career to end on this note, and I think many people would agree. Love him or hate him, he is a thrill to watch.