Golf

Stick a Fork in Tiger Woods

I officially have zero confidence that Tiger Woods will ever win again on any tour.

Think about it this way: Tiger hasn’t played a competitive round on the PGA Tour since August of last year. He was out indefinitely. NO ONE was expecting him or pressuring him to come back any time soon. This gave him the flexibility to wait until he was completely healthy and comfortable with his game before he played a single shot in front of the cameras. Tiger fans (of which I’m certainly one) will always be excited by a comeback, but the one thing we can’t deal with is false hope.

Which is why the news today that he dropped out of the Safeway Open at Pebble Beach is so pitiful. He announced his comeback, agreed to play the Pro-Am with Steph Curry, was installed as a 40-1 longshot, and then all of a sudden I glanced down at my browser to see this…

Screen Shot 2016-10-10 at 3.05.41 PM

He should have doubled down on the practice rounds and physical therapy and HGH and blood-spinning and Ambien and whatever the fuck else it takes him to get ready, and then staged mock tournaments where he played four back-to-back rounds on back-to-back weekends before he even allowed his agent (the always slimy Mark Steinberg) to whisper the word comeback to a single media member.

Instead, as he acknowledged in a depressing statement on his website, he got overly excited by being around the other players at the Ryder Cup and signed up for three tournaments before even really knowing if he was ready. Then he went out to test his game and quickly realized he wasn’t. Hence the withdrawal. The scary part of the statement was that there doesn’t appear to be a medical setback. When I read he withdrew, I was assuming that he thought his game was rounding into shape after much hard work and he simply threw out his back at the last moment. Which would have sucked, but hey, backs are tough to deal with. Shit happens.

But his health was fine; he’s just been lying to himself about his game being ready. When the crowds had all gone home and it was just him alone on the range, the sad truth became apparent: a healthy Tiger Woods, with a month of practice, is not good enough to compete on the PGA Tour. And as long as he’s being honest, it’s probably time to ask if he ever will be again…

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