Winning already legendary U.S. Open worth losing rest of 2008 season for Tiger Woods
SAN DIEGO, Calif. (June 18, 2007) - Sometimes athletes are idiots when they ignore a doctor’s advice. Tiger Woods was brilliant.
Shrugging off the recommendation of his doctors - who are no doubt some of the most highly-regarded doctors in the world - to not play in the U.S. Open because of a left knee that needs season-ending ACL surgery and two stress fractures in his left shinbone, Tiger kept the bigger legend in mind. Who cares if the decision assured that he’d miss the first two majors of his career - next month’s British Open and the PGA Championship in August?
This Open win - which turned into the greatest U.S. Open ever and arguably the best major in history (though Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer have some legit Masters counters there) - will mean much more to his legacy than winning both the British and the PGA would have. Now Tiger couldn’t have known how historic this U.S. Open would turn out - one stroke off the Open’s all-time nine-hole scoring record on his back nine Friday (30), three of golf’s all-time shots in one round Saturday, birdies on 18 to keep himself alive in both the scheduled final round and Monday’s playoff, 91 holes in all.
But Tiger smartly bet on himself. He knew playing on Torrey Pines South - one of his favorite trophy-collecting courses - gave himself a great shot even on a bad leg. He probably took into account the extra attention this U.S. Open was guaranteed to receive with the Tiger-Phil grouping on the first two days and the prime time telecast on the East Coast. He saw a special scenario, took the chance and won big in the legacy department. Which is all that truly matters if you’re a Tiger Woods.
Even if Tiger misses an entire year of golf and cannot come back until next year’s U.S. Open at Bethpage Black (which isn’t likely, he’ll probably be at Augusta), this decision paid off. When WorldGolf.com’s Brandon Tucker is hosting the new-age PTI on ESPN 550 40 years from now and Tiger Woods comes up, the first thing that’s mentioned will be his 2008 U.S. Open.
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there are people out there trying to throw cold water over this amazing performance. The hatred for this man by some runs irrationally deep.
That is probably such a big gamble, playing hurt KNOWING you're at a disadvantage than the rest of the field, but still believing you can win so it will be worth it.
Bald One - I'm not convinced Tiger was doing this 'for posterity'. I'm leaning more towards his intensely competitive nature wouldn't LET him skip the Open if it were even remotely possible to play (and/or win). Both of which he did...brilliantly.
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