by Jeff Skinner
Tiger Woods and his team have announced that he will not be playing in The Wells Fargo Championship next week due to “minor injuries” he sustained at The Masters. On his website Woods said he “suffered a Grade 1 mild medial collateral ligament sprain to his left knee and a mild strain to his left Achilles tendon while hitting a difficult and awkward second shot from the pine straw under the Eisenhower tree left of the fairway at No. 17 during the third round of the Masters.”
This is another setback to Woods as he tries to regain his form and chase down Jack Nicklaus’ record of 18 majors. Prior to his personal sex scandal Woods was collecting majors like no one had in the history of the game. It was not a question of if he would pass Nicklaus it was a question of when. This injury is the latest of obstacles to prevent Woods from his career goal of 19 plus majors. (Take a look at J.D. Cuban’s shots of Tiger’s hurtful swing.)
Certainly Woods has a reputation for playing with and through injury. He did win the U.S. Open on a broken leg after all but Tiger has done nothing major since then. His last win was at The Australian Masters in November of 2009 and his last PGA Tour win was at The BMW Championship in September of 2009. Next month at the U.S. Open, it will be three years since Woods won a major. That statement would have seemed laughable prior to his downfall.
Is Tiger’s body showing the strain of year upon year of the intense workout regimen that Woods is famous for? Combine the physical factors with his seemingly never ending search for his new swing and Woods’ game is nothing more than pedestrian. Oh, and what about that mental game of his? No golfer in spikes in the last decade intimidated the field like Woods had. That is now just a memory. His competitors no longer fear Woods like they had before. His mental strength used to be a great advantage for Woods but now he seems as confused and frustrated on the course as any weekend hacker.
This injury, however minor or serious, continues the downfall of one of the greatest golfers of all time. With all his maladies, both physical and mental, you have to wonder how much can a 35 year old golfer take. At the end of the day he is still Tiger Woods and he may be capable of coming back from all of this and collect more majors. He needs five more to pass Jack and that’s a better career than any other golfer playing right now.
With each missed tournament, each injury and his never ending swing change, this is certain: time is running out for Tiger Woods.