Reasons I Believed Tiger Would Return At Doral
1. A first-round loss at the Match Play would make the week an absolute bust;
2. A run all the way to the semi-finals would involve seven or eight potential rounds, one of which would be contested at 36 holes;
3. The grasses of Arizona would certainly differ from those in Florida and Georgia;
4. A trip west for one event, then a shuttle back east for his next appearance in Florida;
Having been wrong yet again, I’ve looked at the schedule and determined the following:
A. Tiger plays poorly at Riviera, so a return there was out of the question;
B. The next certain event is three weeks later at Doral. Too much time, too restless a Tiger;
C. A return at the Match Play allows Tiger to take more risks than at a medal event. If he botches one hole, it’s simply one hole. At stroke play, it’s a two or three-stroke deficit;
D. After the Match Play, Tiger has three weeks to work on whatever ailed him (even if he wins) and get in shape for Doral, Bay Hill and Augusta.
Feel free to chime in with reasons he shouldn’t or should have returned at Arizona. Even Angry Tom is invited to contribute!!!
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Many of Woods' fans are of the opinion that he will be back better than ever, that his "injury" has healed and there will be no ill effects.
They are mistaken for these reasons.
First of all,Tiger was not injured. The surgery on his knee was undoubtedly due to degeneration of the joint, probably an inherited condition.
A good friend of mine who is an orthopedic surgeon says that it is highly unusual for a person only 32 years old to have need of total reconstructive ACL surgery.
Tiger's knee has not healed. Rather, he now has an entirely different knee, a stainless steel prosthesis with teflon bearings that was hammered into femur on one end and his tibia on the other.
Another ominous factor in Tiger's physical makeup is that it is quite common for a person who has undergone total knee replacement surgery on one knee to develop the same condition on the other knee.
Woods had previously attempted to have his affliction cured with arthroscopic knee surgery at least twice, but which proved to be merely a stop gap measure, and not successful at all.
This is not to say we have seen the end of Tiger, just that his admirers shouldn't expect too much in the way of miracles just yet.
If his upper body strength and hand-eye coordination are still there, and his grit and tenacity remain, he'll still be a force on the PGA tour.
But will his game be the same? I don't believe so. By necessity it will be different, which still will probably be good enough for some more wins and high placings.
Alex USMC 1969-73
Your concern with my assuredness has been duly noted and will be dealt with at the next meeting of the board of directors. :-)
Seriously, an example of over-the-top expectations for Woods can be found in the postings of my friend, Will K.
Recently, I said that if Tiger were to play ten events in 2009 and make all the cuts, that should be considered reasonable success. I added that a win by Woods would be remakable.
But Willie went much further. He then said that he figured Tiger to win twice during the 2009 season and to finish the year with a major victory. That would be three victories in ten tournaments, a thirty percent win ratio which is about the same as his win percentage for his entire career.
Now, I don't know if he is joking or not, but in his latest blog Willie flatly predicts Woods will win the Masters.
Tiger has shown to be a gritty competitor and he may well pull off a miracle by winning both the Accenture and the Masters, but common sense would bet against such an outcome.
Alex USMC 1969-73
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