First off, Stephen A. starts out by listing off just how great Tiger once was, but he quickly transitions into ripping Tiger for finishing 12th at the Honda Classic.
“Tiger Woods just finished 12th in the Honda Classic event this weekend. That’s 8 strokes back from a sudden death playoff. He finished 8 over par in a three-hole stretch on the back 9 redesigned by Jack Nicklaus years ago.”
Yes, Woods did finish 12th and he did struggle over the Bear Trap (many players did), but what the ESPN talking head leaves out of his statement is that the cut was five-over. Woods not only easily made the cut, but worked himself all the way up to three-under, just three off the lead at one point on Sunday. There were a lot of big names who have not been injured who both finished over par — which Woods did not — and did not make the cut.
Not only that, but Woods finished second in driving distance and first in proximity to the hole. That’s not bad for a guy in his third official PGA Tour start this season and only his fourth official PGA Tour start (excluding the Hero World Challenge) since he tied for 10th at the Wyndham Championship in 2015.
Smith goes on to say:
“In other words, he’s nowhere close to what he once was and may never return to his old form. So what am I missing here?”
Again, this is a very factual statement, Tiger Woods is definitely nowhere close to what he once was, however, he does appear to be making this comeback a real thing. While he may not win a tournament this year, watching him right now, it’s very difficult to say he will never win again.
Then Smith appears to go awry with his take.
“And if that’s not going to be the storyline, why don’t we stop playing games and get down to saying why? It’s because Tiger Woods needs his mojo back. It’s because he can’t get it.
“And guess what? We’re all the reason why. What if we didn’t care, y’all? What if we’d wrapped our figurative shoulders around Tiger Woods and said ‘my man, we could give two cents about your personal life — just keep handling your business on the golf course?’”
Do what now?
Yeah, that whole personal life thing definitely caused Woods some issues, but, and pay attention when you read this, it is not the reason that he fell off and his game suffered. Anyone with a brain knows that if you have back issues, which Tiger has had plenty of, you’re going to have problems playing golf.
Tiger has undergone four, yes, FOUR, back surgeries. That, along with his ACL, is the reason that he has been unable to continue to be the Tiger Woods that destroyed the field with ease. (See a full list of Tiger’s injuries here)
“Now look at us, desperate for Tiger to make golf interesting again for someone other than the avid golf fan, all because we wouldn’t mind our damn business. That’s what we get for messing up a great thing.”
Now, considering my job, and people’s insane thirst to know every detail of celebrity and athletes’ personal lives, I’ve had to pay attention to Woods’s personal life and write about it. However, I do agree with Smith and wish that we could all mind our own damn business and enjoy the man’s work and let him sort out the personal stuff on his own.
So, Stephen A., and everyone else who doesn’t watch or pay attention to golf regularly (you know who you are), before you go proclaiming that there is absolutely no way that Tiger Woods will ever do anything exemplary again, I ask that you step back, maybe even tune in and watch (you’ll see plenty of Tiger if he is in the field). Maybe you’ll get to witness one of the greatest comebacks ever.