With apologies to Bubba Watson, Martin Kaymer and Rory McIlroy, watching the PGA Championship this week in Louisville, Ky., just won’t be the same if Tiger Woods isn’t in the field.
But why would we want to watch this Tiger Woods, anyway?
While he looks like Tiger Woods, especially on Sundays wearing his trademark red shirt or sweater that once intimidated the field of golfers each week, he is just a shell of what we once saw.
Watching Woods has become like watching Michael Jordan playing out his career with the Washington Wizards or Jerry Rice with the Seattle Seahawks unable to shake defensive backs.
What must be most frustrating for Woods is that it’s not players such as Watson and McIlroy beating him; his biggest opponent has become injuries. Among the most notable were a left knee fracture and a torn right Achillies’ in 2008-09, a neck injury in 2010, a left ACL tear in 2011 and then surgery in March for a pinched nerve in his back.
Woods, who withdrew from the Bridgestone Invitational during Sunday’s final round because of a back injury, hasn’t ruled out playing the final major of 2014. But if you saw him racked with pain Sunday, looking like a crooked “S” while holding onto the side of a car just to stand, it’s not likely he’ll be swinging clubs Thursday at Valhalla.
Reportedly, he struggled to climb the ladder of his private jet for the painful flight home to Florida, and it seems unlikely he’ll swing a club the rest of this season. It also seems unlikely he will win another major.
Though it seems not long ago when he won his 14th major, it was 2008 when he won the U.S. Open in that great matchup with Rocco Mediate.
Watson, McIlroy and Kaymer deserve most of the attention this week leading up to the PGA Championship, but most of the talk will be about Tiger.
Watching the PGA won’t be the same without Woods.
But watching the PGA with the latest version of Woods wouldn’t have been the same either.
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