Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Why in the World Would Tiger Woods Return at the U.S. Open?

Let's just say for a moment (as you sit in that cubicle munching on that last bite of bagel, finishing off your second Coke of the day) that you're a runner. You love running. It's your favorite thing and you're good at it. You spend mornings and nights trying to pick up seconds on your mile, and minutes on your marathon. You read "Runner's World," scoff at fellow joggers sporting Nikes and compete whenever you can. But one day you break your ankle. Bad. The thing is twisted more than a four-term politician. Not only are you sidelined from running, you can barely walk. So you let it heal, and you plan a date to return to the pavement. Are you going to knock out two miles in your neighborhood, or line up at the New York Marathon? Most likely, you're going to east into it.

That's why Tiger Woods' decision to possibly return to the U.S. Open confuses me. Why do this to yourself? To prove a point? To play another major? To, MAYBE, give yourself a chance to be in contention?

Because that's what Tiger said on Monday. He tweeted that he is circling Congressional as his return date, meaning he could go eight weeks without playing a full competitive round of golf, and the only experience he will have between his final round at the Masters and his first round at the U.S. Open is a front-nine 42 at the Players Championship. Not exactly awe-inspiring.

I get why Tiger wants to do it. He hasn't missed playing the U.S. Open since 1994! It's our national championship, and somewhere, deep in the confused mind of Tiger Woods is a golfer that still thinks he's good enough to beat people on one leg and no practice. The thing is, you don't want your first date after a 25-year marriage to be with Kim Kardashian.

In some way, I respect that Tiger is trying to return for this, but it also confuses me. It's like he's setting himself up for disappointment. A rusty Woods isn't good enough to win any tournament anymore, much less a major championship on a course that Graeme McDowell has said won't even host an under-par championship.

I hope Tiger is back for Congressional, because he makes any tournament more interesting, I just don't get why he's doing that to himself. It seems more harm than good.

Getty Images


seak said...

If you don't play you have a zero percent chance of winning. Elite athletes often play the championship events even when all reason says they shouldn't.

Also Tiger likes the Congressional GC, and the US Open is a lot about mental and physical grinding. He just needs to figure out a way to get around in par, rather then worrying about someone having a super hot week and going really low.

Anonymous said...

Tiger is a growm man and an elite athlete to boot. Tiger will follow doctor's orders, since he is in this for the long haul. If the doctor declare him fit enough and he feels physically he can do it, then what says us.
The key about the US Open is you dont have to go low to win. The harder the course, the better Woods focus. Also, npt too many guys are able to contend at that tourney

Anonymous said...

Because (like many elite athletes bent on proving everyone wrong) he's a pig-headed egotistical fool determined to show everybody he can do the near impossible--win a major when he's clearly out of sorts physically and emotionally. This way he can keep himself in the conversation about who the world's best golfers are. But Tiger's left knee (like Andrew Bynum's) is apparently going to pose an ongoing threat to his career if he doesn't take the necessary time off for it to heal fully. In my opinion he had no business going near TPC Sawgrass last week. But will he listen to his advisors?? You tell me....

Santa Monica

Rickro said...

The reality is the US Open is much more penal that your average PGA tournament. Aside from a bum knee and declining confidence, Tiger has bigger concerns with an erratic driver and faithless putter!

Anonymous said...

Although I like his attitude about playing and competing, I also don't like that he's breaking down at a very fast rate. His body is probably 15-20 years older than his age and there is no turning back. Jacks record is safe and will probably always will be. Isn't it ironic that Jack said years ago that the one thing Tiger Woods probably needed in his life was a family to keep him grounded.

Pseudo said...

I don't get it either. Long-term best course of action, for both Tiger and golf, is to rest until the leg is 100% AND he has sufficient time to practice before a major event. Every time he performs like this past TPC, another layer of luster comes off his legacy.

Come on Tiger, take some downtime and do this right.

Matt said...

Does anyone know how many times he played heading into the 2008 U.S. Open? How did he do in that tournament?