March 15, 2012 in Golf
Woods was vague with the PGA Tour media officials as he left Doral, telling Chris Reimer, the PGA Tour Communications Manager, “Tell them it’s my leg.” [Which leg?] “It’s my left leg.”
Of course, we know now thanks to Woods’ Twitter page that it was his left Achilles that was bothering him and his doctor diagnosed him with a mild strain of said tendon.
It would appear as if Woods withdrew as a precautionary measure to ensure that he would be able to play in the Masters, the year’s first major, in three weeks in East Georgia. He was given the go-ahead from his doctor that he could resume hitting balls later in the week and that he would be hopeful for next week’s Bay Hill Invitational (as well as the Tavistock Cup, which takes place on Monday and Tuesday).
Now, there is no reason to rehash Tiger’s injury timeline, other people have done that ad nauseum. What’s most important to understand is something that we probably won’t know for a few months or even years.
As with everything circling around Eldrick, there is a cloud of doubt or unknowing curiosity.
After his one-legged US Open victory in the 2008 US Open at Torrey Pines, we came to find out that Woods had ruptured his Achilles while rehabbing his knee, something, we were told, carries a direct correlation with his rehab.
The only problem with that was, Woods and Co. didn’t let us know that he had suffered that rather significant injury until the 2010 Masters.
More than likely, Woods decided to drop that bomb at that time because it would give the media something other than his “transgressions” to talk about beings that it was his first tournament post-hydrant.
What is really concerning is the not knowing. Woods showed his latest, and arguably, closest return to form last week at the Honda Classic, highlighted by his final-round 62 on Sunday that put brought him just short of Rory McIlroy.
Now, a week and a half later, we sit scratching our heads, wondering, prognosticating and generally, guessing what Woods’ latest WD means.
He has withdrawn three times in the last three years (2010 Players, 2011 Players and 2012 Cadillac Championship) and each time was shrouded with confusion.
Woods’ people released a statement on TigerWoods.com that read in part, “He had tightness in the left Achilles warming up and it got progressively worse as the round went on.”
Then Woods’ explanation:
“After hitting my tee shot on 12, I felt it was necessary to withdraw,” Woods said. “In the past, I would have continued to play, but this time I decided to do what I thought was necessary.”
Optomists will say that Woods WD’d in favor of keeping himself healthy for the long run. That he played three weeks in a row and it’s not uncommon to feel a little worn down. That for the best chance at the Masters, he should take every precaution.
The only down side is that others point out the how the injury bug has firmly inserted itself into Tiger’s game. And despite being 36, it’s an “old 36” with “a lot of mileage on that body.”
So, what do we know for sure? In short: nothing, and Woods will likely keep it that way. If it was a mild strain, we likely won’t hear any more about it, but if it’s something worse, then we may find out that, too.
Except it might not be for a few years.