Tuesday, June 7, 2011
Tiger Woods Is Out at the U.S. Open
As some came to expect, Tiger Woods announced on Tuesday that he will not be at Congressional, meaning for the first time since 1994, Tiger will not be arriving to the first tee at the U.S. Open.
Is it a big deal? Sure, of course it's a big deal. Tiger and major championships go hand and hand. These are the events that were made for Woods, and he was the player made for these tournaments. He works his entire schedule around the Masters and the U.S. Open, hoping to be in contention on Sunday so he can add to his legacy.
It's funny when you think about his legacy. I wrote a lengthy piece over at Yahoo! about what we will remember about Woods, but for a minute, just think about this; how long did we all believe Tiger would be back? I bet it was up until this Players Championship. I bet for most golf fans, we never really believed that Tiger was done for good. He was too dominant for too long to think that something like an injury, or a divorce, would derail him and we'd never see the Tiger we had grown up on.
Tiger missing the U.S. Open is injury related. He has to do it because he isn't 100 percent healthy, and for Tiger, he must be 100 percent to have any chance at competing in any tournament, not just a major championship. Everyone has become too good for Tiger to just show up and win like he used to, and his game is too shaky now to bring home a trophy at 80 percent.
It's crazy to think that this will be the three year mark since Tiger last won a major, but what's crazier is what most would answer if you asked them this question; is it more likely that Tiger wins zero majors for the rest of his career, or five, the number needed to pass Jack? To me, it's a lay-up. No chance Tiger catches that daunting 18. He won't be ready for this U.S. Open, and he surely won't be ready for the British or even the PGA Championship. That means the next time we see him competitive at a major, he will be 36, with a nagging history of injuries.
On top of that, Tiger now has the doubt, that nasty thing that most golfers are born with but it never seemed to enter Tiger's brain. We all doubt ourselves on the golf course, but he never did.
He does now, and his decision to not play the U.S. Open isn't surprising, but the way his career has tanked sure is. It's hard to believe that the best golfer of this generation might never be the same.