After 19 years of playing golf professionally, have we seen the last of the Tiger Woods that we’ve been accustomed to knowing? For the past couple of decades, Woods has been that guy in golf. He’s the Michael Jordan, Wayne Gretzky, Tom Brady or Derek Jeter of golf.
However, since 2010, when his sexual affair divorce between him and his ex-wife Elin Nordegren became world news, Woods has not been anywhere close to the same player, and right now he may have just hit rock bottom.
Tiger started off the 2015 season playing in the Phoenix Waste Management tournament at TPC Scottsdale, shooting a dismal +13 through the first two rounds of the tournament and missed the cut.
This past weekend, Woods was at his favourite course, Torrey Pines, where he has won seven times in his career. However, he made it through just 11 holes before withdrawing from the tournament due to back spasms. Woods, who has had multiple surgeries, as well as back and leg issues over the past three years, has now dropped in the world rankings to 59, the lowest since his first year as an official pro on the PGA Tour.
With all of the media attention on Woods and the disappointment surrounding his career these days, he still feels that he’s doing what he can to prepare himself to win. In an article reported by Agence France-Presse (AFP), Woods told reporters what he was doing over the Super Bowl weekend with advisor Chris Como.
“I was in the back yard chipping a lot, hitting plenty of golf balls, analyzing it, my good is really good. Unfortunately my bad is really bad,” said Woods.
With the first major of the year only two months away, when all the best players of the world will gather in August in Georgia for the Masters, the following question remains, is Tiger Woods done? His fellow competitors certainly don’t think so. In the same article published by AFP, Fred Couples expressed his confidence in the golf icon.
“I think he’s capable of turning it around,” said US veteran, Fred Couples. “He has got a lot of speed. He’s hitting it a mile. He hasn’t played much golf in a year and a half and I don’t know how good anybody would be after that.”
“He’s coming off injury and was coming off not playing very much,” said 2013 U.S Open champion, Justin Rose. “Obviously he’s getting back into playing and he’s playing in some different tournaments, which I think is good to see. But in terms of the short game and the chipping, of course it is always surprising to see that. But it just shows golf is a hard game and it’s a game of confidence as well and sometimes if you haven’t played much, confidence can disappear. So it’s going to take a little while to get back into tournament mode, get himself in contention. Start to feel good again and the rest comes back pretty quickly.”
Woods hasn’t won a major since 2008 and his last PGA Tour win came in August 2013. Sam Snead has the most wins of all-time at 82 and Jack Nicklaus still holds the most major victories at 18. Woods is still very young when it comes to golf, however some doctors are saying that his body is more like 50-years-old right now, with the amount of force he puts into his golf swing day in and day out.