Teed Off (18-03-2012)
with Robert Bicknell
Tiger, Tiger, Tiger…so now it's the Achilles heel? Troi oi! What's next?
For those of you who live in a cave, or simply don't give a rat's behind about Tiger Woods' every waking moment, he pulled out of a tournament last week complaining of "tightness in his left Achilles tendon." Yes, the left leg again. First, the knee, now the tendon. I figure if he keeps going, the hip will most likely be the next body part to malfunction.
An excerpt from Hank Haney's book claims Woods was enamoured with joining the "Special Forces" and actually took time off to occasionally train with them. Yes, it's fun to fire the big guns and to crawl around in the brush and mud. It brings out the little boy in all of us, but the difference is that Tiger was there on a pass and if it got too tough, could call a taxi and get back to golf again.
The real SF guys are in for the long haul and don't even know the meaning of the word "quit".
And while it can be fun to those with the correct mindset, on a physical scale, it's the forced marches in combat boots and the airborne training which takes a toll on your knees. Those guys are as physically tough as professional wrestlers, so it's very possible Tiger did it to himself by trying to hang with them.
Now, before anyone smirks about the "professional wrestler" crack, let me remind you that those guys take some serious falls and perform high impact moves 300 days per year. Professional American football players, on the other hand, play how many games per year and yet they're constantly down with injuries, but since they get paid whether they play or not, they have the luxury of rest. Wrestlers are legitimately tough bastards.
Sometimes, you really have to wonder where his head is at. "Ranger Woods." Good grief.
Maybe it might be time for Tiger to slow down a bit. You know, concentrate only on majors, corporate outings and Hooters openings. Whoops, sorry that role is reserved for John Daly. But I might be the only one willing to say it publicly, but I seriously doubt he will equal or surpass Jack Nicklaus' record in majors.
When you think about his rather bizarre behaviour over the last few years, being fascinated with the military elite seems to make sense. Tiger never really had much of a childhood. Everything was geared around golf. Practice, matches, assessments, more practice, more matches and more assessments.
He wants to play soldier, albeit without the danger of getting his butt shot off. He ran around with so many women of low character, you'd think he was in high school. Yes, we all did that in our teens as well, but the operative word is "teens". He's ultra secretive about his doings, like a kid locking his bedroom door. He hates people talking behind his back and thinks Chuck E Cheese is holy ground.
Tiger has all the toys anyone could ever want, a yacht, jet, mega-mansion and the requisite bodyguards necessary for a superstar appearance. In fact, with everything happening so fast, he reminds me of a celebrity kid who was driven by their parents into the business.
Neither of them had a "normal" childhood. They were always driven by the need to please their parents and nobody can tell them "no".
It could be that Tiger might be at a nexus in his life and is on the fence about what direction to go. He's saying all the right things, but it lacks conviction.
Yes, he loves golf, but that's all he does and I am sure that more than once he has asked the eternal question: "Is this all I am?"
If Tiger really wants to come back strong, he's gonna have to dedicate himself and play for the love of the game and not just because the sponsors and media want him to. He will probably never be as dominant as he once was, but on the other hand, he doesnhave to single-handedly carry the entire Tour on his back anymore.
It's time for Tiger to take a more mature attitude towards the game and his own future. If he doesn't, the brass ring will remain just outside his grasp. — VNS