Tiger Woods is going to be a talking point for a while. This won’t surprise anyone who follows golf regularly. Woods played well in his first tournament back, the Hero World Challenge, but he followed that up with a missed cut at Torrey Pines where he struggled mightily off the tee. Woods then set off on a 17 hour flight to Dubai for the Omega Dubai Desert Classic and by all accounts, most thought the warm weather would help him out; it did not and Woods fired off a five-over 77 in the first round.
Prior to the beginning of the second round, Woods began suffering from back spasms and said he received treatment but it did little to relieve the issue, so he withdrew. That was a smart move by Tiger, even if flying around the world for a seven-figure appearance fee wasn’t. At 41-years-old, any little issue could quickly become a much larger problem for Woods.
“A lot of people will argue – is it his obsession with special forces-type workouts? Is it his obsession with this ever-changing technique? Which one is the greater enemy of these injuries?
“But it’s pretty clear to me that the one commonality is the golf swing hasn’t changed. He continues to re-injure himself. So in my opinion, he needs to change his golf swing before he’s ever going to have a sustained period of health as it relates to his game.”
“Maybe this is the end of his career,” Chamblee said, later adding, “We’ve been blessed to have him in this game. We’d love to see him for another 10 years, but I just don’t see it if he doesn’t change his golf swing.”
Now 99.999% of the time Chamblee says things like this I disagree with them, but he’s right this time. Tiger’s workouts aren’t the issue, he’s been doing that for a while now, however, his swing has changed several times over the last eight to 10 years and with every change there seems to be some sort of injury.
While Tiger’s old coach Butch Harmon didn’t mention the swing issues, he did say in an interview with Sky Sports that Tiger not finishing either of the last two tournaments he entered is, “not a good sign.”
“Are we ever going to see him playing at the heights he did back in the early 2000s? Probably not, but the main thing he has to do right now is somehow get himself healthy,” Harmon told Sky Sports. “He’s been off for almost a year and a half, and now he’s come back but he still can’t finish a tournament. To me, that’s not a good sign.”
Of course no one is expecting Woods to return to the form he had early in his career, but Harmon went on:
“We all want to see him playing well again,” Harmon said, “but right now I’m concerned that someone I have admired for so long, and who I believe is the best player who ever lived, might not be able to play at any kind of level again.”
“Might not be able to play AT ANY KIND OF LEVEL again.”
That seems a bit extreme right now. Sure things don’t look great, but did anyone expect Tiger to come out firing off 64’s? If you did, shame on you.