Tiger Woods missed the minimize at The Open final week when he completed the second spherical at three over par, leaving him at 9 over after 36 holes. The three-time winner of The Open, two of which have been gained at St. Andrews, simply didn’t have it this week and didn’t appear like the Tiger of outdated. I’m not positive we’ll ever see that Tiger once more.
It’s a miracle that Woods is definitely enjoying this properly, truthfully. Simply 16 months in the past he was concerned in a severe automobile accident that almost took his life and later virtually his leg. He has rods and screws in his leg, so it’s comprehensible that he can’t strike the ball the identical approach he used to. Woods acknowledged he didn’t know when he would play in one other match, which is one other sign that he is aware of his time on the course as a severe competitor may be coming to a swift finish.
“I’ve nothing, nothing deliberate. Zero,” Woods stated. “Possibly one thing subsequent yr. I don’t know. However nothing within the close to future. That is it. I used to be simply hoping to play this one occasion this yr. And I used to be fortunate sufficient, once more, [to get] three occasions in, they usually’re all majors. So, I really feel very lucky to have had issues occur this manner after the struggles I’ve been by means of to get thus far.”
What stood out to me most was the physique language and verbiage utilized by Woods after he missed the minimize. It appears that evidently he realizes that he can’t push his physique to do the identical issues as earlier than and that this was in all probability the final time he would play The Open at St. Andrews. They rotate the programs for The Open and doubtless gained’t play at St. Andrews once more till 2029.
“I’m not one who will get very teary-eyed fairly often about something,” stated Woods. “However on the subject of the sport and the passing on, simply the transition, I used to be fortunate sufficient in ’95 to look at Arnold [Palmer] hit his first tee shot within the second spherical as I used to be going to the vary.
“And I may hear Jack [Nicklaus] enjoying his final one [in 2005]. I used to be in all probability about 4 holes behind him. However simply to listen to the ovations getting louder and louder and louder, I felt that as I used to be coming in. The individuals knew that I wasn’t going to make the minimize on the quantity I used to be. However the ovations acquired louder as I used to be coming residence. And that to me was – it felt, simply the respect. I’ve all the time revered this occasion. I’ve all the time revered the traditions of the sport.”
As a fan of Woods, it hurts to see a sports activities legend that I respect a lot not be capable to play as much as his excessive customary he has set through the years. He’s three main wins away from catching Nicklaus, however after this efficiency, I’m virtually sure he won’t ever get to 18 main wins. He was requested if he’ll be capable to play extra occasions sooner or later that would higher put together him to compete within the main tournaments.
“I perceive being extra battle-hardened, however it’s laborious simply to stroll and play 18 holes,” Woods stated. “Folks don’t know what I’ve to undergo and the hours of the work on the physique, pre- and post-[round], every single day, to do what I simply did. That’s what individuals don’t perceive – they don’t see. After which you concentrate on enjoying extra occasions on high of that, it’s laborious sufficient simply to do what I did.”
Woods makes a really legitimate level with that assertion. I believe individuals, me included, have develop into so accustomed to him enjoying at such a excessive degree, they will’t fathom why he can’t play extra occasions. I needed to actually take into consideration the accidents he suffered and the hassle it takes only for him to stand up and play 18 holes for a match.
The stress that should placed on his physique after the accidents he suffered should take an infinite quantity of fortitude and can. The truth that he’s nonetheless acting at such a excessive degree whereas coping with all the accidents he suffered from the automobile accident is thoughts boggling. And you may’t overlook in regards to the psychological toughness that goes into that as properly.
After Woods gained The Masters in 2019, which was his first main championship in eleven years and fifteenth main championship general, there was hope that Woods nonetheless had an opportunity to catch the Golden Bear.
After the accident, my total ideas on Woods catching Nicklaus modified. I used to be simply completely satisfied that he was in a position to stroll usually once more. For him to have the ability to get again on the market on the course is a miracle.
Matt Fitzpatrick and Max Homa have been enjoying with Woods through the second spherical. As they approached the 18th tee, the gang was cheering so loudly for Woods. Everybody may really feel the emotion they usually let Woods have his second as they lagged behind.
“It was superb. It gave me goosebumps,” stated Fitzpatrick, who gained his first main championship final month on the U.S. Open. “Simply trying round, seeing everybody stood up, and giving him a standing ovation coming down 18. It was unbelievable. It’s one thing that may stay with me endlessly.
“It’s completely deserved, and I believe towards the tip of it, you may see he was a bit of bit emotional as properly. Yeah, it was a giant deal.”
It was good to see the gamers and the followers give Woods that a lot respect. As the best participant of this technology and presumably of all time, Woods deserved all the ovations and cheers. I simply hope this isn’t the final we’ll see of Tiger competing at a excessive degree at a significant championship.