When Tiger Woods was whacked upside the head with a nine-iron, it was the top sports story of the day. After all, this was Tiger Woods, the second coming of the golfer destined to save golf, and more importantly, golf TV ratings. And through plastic surgery, lingering injuries, and countless missed tournaments – yes, Tiger hasn’t won a major since that nine-iron heard ‘round the world – the closest we’re getting to an “eye of the tiger” is inside a Katy Perry record, or Survivor’s hit in 1982! Woods hasn’t hit a golf ball since missing the cut at the PGA Championship on August 8th, and according to Woods, he’s not sure when he will. In 20-years, Woods has undergone surgery five times – the latest on his back – and, correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t the back an integral component to the golf swing?
Several years ago, I was standing in the sports department at WVLT-TV in Knoxville, where I boastfully predicted that Woods, who just underwent knee surgery, would not catch Jack Nicklaus with 18 major championships, nor surpass him at 19. Am I a soothsayer? A golf injury savant? A Tiger Woods hater?
None of the above. But correct me if I’m wrong. Aren’t the knees integral components to the golf swing?
We’ve seen athletes make amazing come backs from devastating injures – in football, baseball, basketball, and hockey, thanks to superhuman efforts turned in by sports surgeons.
But that pesky golf swing. So many things need to go right. Don’t believe me? Head to your local golf pro and have him slo-mo your swing.
Yes, Tiger Woods won the 2008 US Open basically on one leg. And yes, when the greatest golfers of all time are mentioned, TW will be in the mix. But you have to wonder how many times Woods can undergo surgeries, rehab, and expect to be the Tiger of old, especially as he’s getting older. After all, Father Time is sports’ great equalizer.
Which takes us back to that fateful night in November 2009. Because, think about it. Has Tiger Woods been the same since?
When all is said and done, what might become the most historical golf swing in Tiger Wood’s career might be the one made by his ex-wife Elin Nordegren, when she teed- off on Tiger’s head.
Good thing he didn’t lose an eye.