March 12, 2012
Injury throws Tiger's future into doubt
By Ian Hutchinson, Special to QMI Agency
The last time Tiger Woods withdrew from a tournament was at last year’s Players Championship, and his fans at least understood what was going on after he hurt his left knee and Achilles tendon hitting the ball off the pine straw at Augusta National a month earlier at the Masters.
Woods had said as much when he pulled out at TPC Sawgrass, which wasn’t the case down the road at Doral yesterday.
Here’s what we originally knew in the moments leading up to his withdrawal after he parred the 11th hole to stay at three over for the final round and six under for the tournament. Woods changed shoes at the turn and was limping noticeably on the 10th hole, which he bogeyed.
After withdrawing, Woods was taken to a car in the parking lot, where he, apparently begrudgingly, told a tour official it was his left leg. Then he drove off with caddie Joe LaCava, one can only assume to deal with the problem.
He left everybody hanging before finally admitting through one of his representatives that he felt tightness in his Achilles tendon earlier in the day and decided to withdraw as a precautionary move. He’ll have the problem assessed early this week.
Woods is the master of using words, but saying nothing — and he did just that yesterday.
It’s understandable that he didn’t want to hang around while he was in pain to discuss it with media, but everything his representative said could have been verbalized by Tiger quickly before he left.
Not only did Woods miss a good portion of last season due to problems with his left leg, but he also had a stress fracture in it after winning his last major at the 2008 U.S. Open.
If there’s one thing other than his left leg problems that Woods has become known for, it’s his attitude. A couple of quick specifics would have helped in this age of instant information.
At least now, we know what the problem is after his later statement and, once again, we’re not sure about his immediate future after he shot that magnificent 62 at the Honda Classic just over a week ago.
After three straight events, Woods was scheduled to tee it up at Bay Hill in a couple of weeks and from there it was on to the Masters, where many believed he would contend.
At least until we hear the final diagnosis, we’re back to wondering if we’ll ever see the Tiger Woods who observers of the game obsessed over.
DELAET EARNS TOP-10
With all of the attention on Doral on the weekend, Graham DeLaet tied for ninth at the Puerto Rico Open, finishing at 10 under, six shots off the lead ... Mike Weir will have a change of scenery as he tries to shake off three missed cuts in three tries on the PGA Tour. Weir will play this week’s Open de Andelucia Costa del Sol event at the Aloha Golf Club in Spain. Weir’s stats indicate oil is leaking everywhere. His driving accuracy is only 47.83 per cent, while his driving distance is just 263.4 yards, which left him 182nd on tour last week. His greens in regulation percentage is just 41.11%. He was also just 125th on tour last week in strokes gained while putting and a 75.08 scoring average is glaring ... The word is that the 2014 RBC Canadian Open could be played at Royal Montreal, but many believe club membership will shoot down the proposal. This year’s event will be played at Hamilton Golf and Country Club, while next year’s is expected to be at Glen Abbey.
A golf superintendent is a lot like an offensive lineman in football because most golfers only notice a super when something goes wrong. That changed last week when the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame named the late Gordon Witteveen, who worked at golf facilities across Ontario and Quebec and was a noted author, speaker, educator and mentor in his profession, as its lone 2012 inductee ... Builders are often overshadowed by tour players in Hall of Fame selections, but no player was named this year. The natural choices in the future are Kane, with her four LPGA Tour wins among other credentials, and Stephen Ames, with his four PGA Tour victories, including the 2006 Players Championship ... Some argue that active players should not be inducted, but given the duration of a tour player’s career, why not induct them if they deserve to go in? The same argument came up when Weir was inducted in 2009 ... One argument that comes up in the case of Ames is that he wasn’t born here, but that doesn’t fly. Ames grew up in Trinidad, but most of his major accomplishments came while playing as a Canadian. Jack Nicklaus isn’t Canadian, but he’s in the Hall of Fame. Dick Grimm also was born in the U.S., but all of his major contributions came in Canada, where he’s known as Mr. Canadian Open. Witteveen came from the Netherlands ... Other tour players whose names have been mentioned include Gail Graham and Jim Nelford ... A lull in tour players going into the Hall appears imminent as we wait to see how the careers of Alena Sharp, Rebecca Lee-Bentham, Maude-Aimee Leblanc, DeLaet, David Hearn and Adam Hadwin, among others, develop.