by Jeff Skinner
The Tiger Woods Saga continues. In a start at The Players that was more “Hacker Golf” than it was world class golf Tiger Woods succumbed to an ailing left leg that resulted in him finishing the front nine in a mind-boggling 42 strokes. Woods said afterward that his knee felt fine in warm ups but pulled his opening three wood way left and felt a twinge after he slipped on pine straw after his second shot.
It got real scary on the fourth when he put two balls in the water and needed an eighteen foot putt to save triple bogey. Woods limped and staggered to the ninth hole at Sawgrass and decided that his battered knee had enough and withdrew. This is the second consecutive year Wood withdrew from The Players Championship and his professional life is as big a disaster now as his personal life was right after he hit the fire hydrant.
Tiger had been dormant since he announced that he re-injured his left knee at The Masters and had been getting treatment daily which he thought was effective enough to have him ready for The Players. I agree with John Feinstein who gave his take on Tiger shortly after Tiger left the course. Tiger was probably squeezed by Tim Finchem to play here even though he wasn’t ready. Maybe Finchem called in his marker for supporting Tiger and letting him use the PGA Tour facilities for his bogus “apology press conference.” Woods looked like anything but a healthy golfer as he limped through his round and finally threw in the towel after nine.
The bottom line here is that all Tiger did was aggravate his injury and fuel the speculation as to whether he’ll ever recover from this injury. He’s 35 and should be in the prime of his career but his knee is more like 75 years old and one has to wonder how much can one knee take.
Don’t be surprised if we don’t see Tiger on the course again until The U.S. Open at Congressional in June. It will mark the three year anniversary of Tiger’s last major. The years are slipping past Woods whose assault on Jack’s record of 18 majors has ground to a surprising halt.