by Jeff Skinner
It wouldn’t be a normal week in the golf world if there weren’t two or three Tiger Woods stories. This week is no different as Woods was in the news for what he did this week and for what he has yet to do.
Tiger committed to play in Jack’s Memorial Tournament next week. It will be Tiger’s first appearance since he withdrew from The Players with that pain in his neck. It seems like Woods has had a huge pain in the neck for awhile. Tiger announced that he’ll play even though he is not 100% healthy. Isn’t that contrary to what he always told us? He has always said that he’ll not come back until he is healthy and ready to win. “The doctors advised me to take a week off and rest, which I did,” Woods said. “They prescribed physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medication and soft-tissue massages, which I’m continuing with. Although I’m not 100 percent, I feel much better and look forward to competing next week.” If he can win the US Open on a busted leg I guess he can use Jack’s tournament as a warm up for the Open.
Tiger also committed to play in The Open Champions Challenge the week of this year’s Open Championship at St. Andrews. He’ll be playing with Seve Ballesteros and 27 former Open Champions in a four hole challenge event. One word I haven’t heard from Woods lately is therapy. What happened to all that talk about becoming a better man and taking care of his issues? Maybe Tiger is recovered already or maybe he’s just the same old Tiger again.
What Tiger hasn’t done yet is lock up a spot on the Ryder Cup Team, well no one has yet but Woods is out of the top ten in Ryder Cup points and needs to play a little better to make the team, at least in the eyes of his captain, Corey Pavin. Pavin said Tiger, like everyone else has to earn a spot on the team or at least play well enough to warrant a captain’s pick. “I’m not going to treat Tiger any different – he’s certainly not going to be an automatic pick,” said Pavin. “I’d love to have him on the team but I want him to be playing well.” Is that a surprise? Pavin will use his four picks to take the players he thinks will be the best for his team. If Woods is playing well, and he has only missed the Ryder Cup because of injury previously, he’ll get picked it’s simple. What would you expect him to say?
I’m glad to see that Steve Stricker is back to defend his title at The Colonial this week. He has been dealing with an injury since The Masters and has been home with the wife and kids. He says the time home was great for the family but he was anxious to get back to playing. Stricker has had an injury in a joint in his chest. I didn’t even know we had joints in our chest. He had an inflammation in his sternoclavicular (SC) joint, a connection from the breastbone to the collarbone. The things we learn while reading about golf. I like Stricker. He is one of the good guys. I like the fact that he still lives up north and that he had the guts to stick to his game when it left him years ago. I also like it when he breaks down and cries when he wins.
I have to tip my hat to The Golf Channel and their series The Story of Golf. In a refreshing break from their toxic shows with burnouts (John Daly) and media blowhards (Donald Trump) The Golf Channel has a winner with this one. Rich Lerner hosts the show, he’s great, and each show is devoted to a different piece of golf history. So far it has been an excellent watch and light years better than anything Trump can give us. It’s time they fired The Donald and let Lerner carry the load.