March 14, 2012
Woods overly optimistic about injury?
By TIM MCKAY, QMI AGENCY
Tiger Woods may want to temper his optimism, one expert is saying.
Woods, who bowed out of last week's WGC-Cadillac Championship with a strain in his left Achilles tendon, signalled the injury may not keep him out long.
"Got good news from doc tonight," Woods' said on Twitter Monday. "Only mild strain on left Achilles. Can resume hitting balls late in week and hopeful for next week."
But Dr. Steven Weinfeld, associate professor of orthopedic surgery and chief of foot and ankle surgery at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, says that may not be the case. Woods may have a choice to make: Play through the injury or simply rest it.
"Achilles tendon problems tend to be longer lasting than sprains or strains of other body parts," Weinfeld said. "Achilles injuries are notorious for being slow-healing due to limited blood supply."
With Woods slated to play next week in the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill and the Masters in early April, it would not be a surprise to see him pull out of Arnie's tournament in favour of rest.
Woods is no stranger to Achilles problems, having sat out for a few months last year with similar problems, compounded by knee issues. He injured the Achilles at the Masters, then had to pull out of the Players Championship a month later.
Hard to believe he won't err on the side of caution this time around.
It must be burdensome being Mike Weir these days.
After a less-than-stellar showing in three PGA Tour events -- missing three cuts and in seven rounds carding scores of 78 or 79 four times -- the beleaguered 41-year-old is taking a crack at the European Tour this week in Spain.
Unfortunately, Weir won't be able to hide there. As a big name gracing the Euro tour with his presence, people are going to want to talk to him and about him.
"I decided to come and play here because I need to play more," Weir said in an EuropeanTour.com article about taking up membership (major winners are given a 10-year exemption, with Weir's set to expire after next season). "I have been practising for a couple of months, and now I want to play Bay Hill and a few events in a row to get ready for Augusta."
Good on the Bright's Grove, Ont., native for trying to battle through his flagging game, but you have to feel for the guy.
The article also stated that "Weir returns to the Costa del Sol 12 years after his win at the 2000 American Express Championship at Valderrama, where he prevailed over a world-class field led by Tiger Woods."
No pressure, though...
As much as it is a feather in a golfer's cap and no one can take it away, the term "former major winner" must haunt some of them at times. Just ask Michael Campbell and Rich Beem, also playing in Spain this week.
MARK THE SPOT
There are certain shots that stick out.
Ben Hogan's 1-iron on the 72nd hole to get into a playoff and win the 1950 U.S. Open at Merion.
Jack Nicklaus' 1-iron into the closing hole at the 1967 U.S. Open at Baltrusol.
Robert Gamez' hole-out from the fairway at Bay Hill for a one-stroke victory in 1990.
There are many examples, but one thing these all have in common is that there is a permanent plaque on those fairways to mark the feats.
But what is now regarded as certainly one of his best and one of the game's best shots under pressure, Woods' 6-iron from the a bunker on the 18th hole of Glen Abbey, isn't marked on the course.
It came to mind recently when, after a brilliant shot to set up an eagle on the final hole of the Honda Classic, Woods compared it to his shot at the Abbey.
"It was almost the same situation I had in Canada in 2000," Woods told NBC. "I hit a pretty good one there, too."
The Glen Abbey shot was from sand, though, and it won him the tournament. And while the current caretakers of the Abbey certainly want to celebrate the unreal shot -- there is a plaque on the 18th tee -- it's not that easy.
Over the years, scores of duffers have stolen plaques put out and likely everyone who plays there -- perhaps even this writer -- has dropped a ball in the fairway bunker and tried to get it to the back right corner of the green.
"People still try the shot from the bunker with an iron with no hope of ever reaching the green," said Allan Huibers, director of golf at Glen Abbey. "Somehow they forget that the best player in the world was able to hit that iron on, and that they do not quite have the ability to reach!"
Sean Foley seems to have backed out of the media spotlight a bit but his results have been speaking for themselves recently.
Foley's stable of PGA players has put up some impressive results over the past few weeks, including wins at World Golf Championship events by Justin Rose (Cadillac) and Hunter Mahan (Accenture Match Play), not to mention a shiny final round of 62 by star student Woods in the middle (Honda). Heck, even Calgary's Stephen Ames showed glimpses a few weeks back with a tie for 16th at the Mayakoba Golf Classic.
ON THE TEE
Innisbrook Resort and Golf Club, Copperhead Course (7,340 yds, par 71). Palm Harbour, Fla.
* Canadians include Stephen Ames, Graham DeLaet and David Hearn.
Aloha Golf Club (6,881 yards, par 72), Puerto Banus, Spain
* Mike Weir tries his luck on the Euro tour after missing three cuts on the PGA Tour this season.
LPGA Founders Cup
JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa, Wildfire Golf Club (6,613 yards, par 72), Phoenix
* The ladies are back after a three-week hiatus. Lorie Kane and Alena Sharp among Canadians.