The day that no golf fan ever thought would come did come on April 1, 2014 – and it wasn’t an April fool’s joke. It was released that Tiger Woods would not be playing in this year’s Masters due to a recent back procedure. Tiger had been experiencing back spasms, which led to a Microdiscectomy of a pinched nerve that the doctor deemed necessary.
Although Tiger has been suffering from back pain recently, I do not believe that this is the only reason for his downfall. We all remember the incidents between him and his wife that became very public. This was the beginning of the collapse of his mental game. Several companies dropping their sponsorship following this probably did some damage as well.
Imagine being the face of golf, a sport that hasn’t had much drama associated with it. Then, Tiger, one of the most followed golfers and athletes, almost spoils this.
Something I have always noticed about Tiger is that the older he gets, the more rare it is to see him smile. It may just be his intense focus during a round but unlike other guys on tour, Tiger doesn’t seem to have fun with the game. It is almost like it is expected of him to break records. There are many other players who interact with fans at tournaments and via social media. I feel as though Tiger does it because his publicist tells him too. I respect that he is a private guy, but I would love to see him having more fun with the game. I feel as though this is what he needs.
Back spasms are something that might come back again to haunt Tiger. Also, there are always the risks of other injuries. These back problems may be a result of his dedication to the game at such a young age. Tiger Woods was known for spending every moment he could working on his game. By spending so much time repeating the motion of the golf swing, this definitely could have started the wear and tear on his back.
I always wondered if Tiger would have a future on the Champions Tour or if once he had broken all the records he would retire and maybe venture into another business. Golf is really all he has known. I’d like to ask Tiger about his other interests. But as far as his golf career, a future on The Champions Tour looks hazy.
In a statement released by Tiger he says that he is looking forward to coming back and still has his eyes on the two records everyone has been cheering him on to beat. The Tiger we all remember, just starting out as a kid on tour, was very hungry to succeed. Will this time away from the game change that at all?
But, with Tiger out of the mix who will the focus be on? There are so many talented guys on the PGA Tour presently that there is no predicted winner. To me, this makes the Masters more interesting to watch because it could go any way. There is a wider range of favorites now more than ever, too; each of them unique in their own way and known for their personal playing styles.
But, will as many people still take an interest in golfs biggest event of the year with Tiger not in the field? I hope that sports fan everywhere will tune in to see what PGA Tour professional can take on Augusta National and be presented a green jacket. Tiger Woods’ impact on the game of golf has been such a blessing, and I wish him all the best in his future. Here’s to Tiger’s speedy recovery and quest to play good golf again.