If His Career Were A Dog The Owner Would Shoot It
Here we go again. Last week Tiger Woods played in the Phoenix Open, shot 82 on Friday, and said he felt great. He said he was healthy. He said his back was fine. Today in San Diego round 1 of the Farmers Insurance Open was delayed by fog. Tiger sat around for 2 hours and 40 minutes in the delay. He said he didn’t get properly warmed up after it. Then he chopped it around for 12 holes before withdrawing. He declared with his body language that his lower back was bothering him on the 3rd tee after missing the fairway by 40 yards, again. He didn’t hit a green with a full shot until well into his opening 9. The golf wasn’t pretty, but the re-injured back might be the death blow to him.
In an impromptu presser held at the tailgate of Tiger’s car, he told scribes that he couldn’t “activate his glutes” thanks to the delay. He’d had a great warm up, but then everything changed thanks waiting around. I believe some of that, but he also had the shanks earlier this week on the range.
I got the sense that the Golf Channel knew this was coming. That it was going to be a train wreck all day and they didn’t want to miss a beat of it. Tiger was playing Torrey Pines’ North Course today, the easier track that doesn’t get played on the weekend in this event. Normally TV cameras are only there to get a few highlights of players rising up the leaderboard. Today they had cameras everywhere and showed every shot Woods hit. That was no accident. Good for them for doing so, but it was tough to watch. And why didn’t we see more of guys actually playing well on both courses until Tiger left the golf course?
What’s next for Woods? We’re back to where we were in September with him. If he’s truly healthy and this isn’t a continuation of a trend, then we’ll see him in Florida for the Honda. He won’t make Doral, and he won’t make the Match Play in May at this rate. How can this be? Two WGC events without Tiger? Ugh. The Masters is 63 days away and Tiger Woods has only played two Sunday tournament rounds of golf in the last year. Professional golf as we know it might have changed forever today. And if it didn’t, we’ll have to learn to settle for rare glimpses of a very fragile Tiger Woods going forward.