What are we to think of Tiger Woods now?
In 2013, he won five tournaments en route to the 11th PGA Tour Player of the Year award in his 17-year career. He finished the year as the world’s No. 1 player and fell just short of winning his third FedEx Cup points title, edged out in the final tournament by Henrik Stenson.
All that was missing, it seemed, was winning his 15th major tournament and first since 2008.
But instead of continuing his pursuit of Jack Nicklaus’ record of 18 major tournament wins, Woods seems to have broken down before the 2014 season has picked up steam.
He finished 80th in the Farmer’s Insurance Open and 41st at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic, and withdrew in the final round of Sunday’s Honda Classic because of back spasms.
As a colleague pointed out, the worse a golfer is hitting the ball, the more his back – or ankle, or knee, or neck – seems to hurt.
And at age 38, Woods is hurting. He has withdrawn from seven tournaments, including four in the past five years, because of injuries. As with most aging men, pain has become a part of Woods’ daily life. Today it’s a stiff back, tomorrow achy knees, the day after an elbow that can’t fully extend.
The bad news for Woods is he’s only going to get older. By the time he’s eligible to join the Champions Tour in 12 years, he may not be physically able to keep up with the seniors.
The only question remaining until 2026 is, does Woods have enough gas in his tank to win five more major titles to surpass the Golden Bear?
What to watch
Exhibition baseball, Texas vs. L.A. Angels, noon, FS1: It’s only the Cactus League, but it’s still baseball.
Will Tiger Woods surpass Jack Nicklaus’ record of 18 major tournament wins?
• Yes, there is still time.
• No, he no longer has the stamina.
Vote above, or go to sacbee.com/sports
Monday’s poll results
How many technical fouls will DeMarcus Cousins accumulate this season ?
• 15: 6%
• 16: 4%
• 17: 8%
• More than 17: 82%
Total votes: 147
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