Jamie Diaz writes that every golfer eventually encounters his Achilles Heel, but that …
To this point, Woods has been the most artful dodger. It’s not that he hasn’t had some tough losses, or been confused by his swing, or suffered some wear and tear. It’s that by dint of talent and will he has turned every adversity into another launching pad for improvement. As Golf Digest’s David Owen so astutely noted of Woods, “Everything makes him better.”
The event that challenged him the most—the death of his father, Earl, in May 2006—became the catalyst for an inner peace and resolve that led, beginning with last year’s PGA Championship, to the best sustained play of his life.
But at some point, something will not make him better, and if anything sounds ominous enough to qualify, it’s a third operation on his left knee at age 32. This time around, there was damaged cartilage, a material not even Woods can regenerate. When asked if he worried his knee would pose a chronic problem, Woods’ response was almost resigned: “I said after the first one I probably wouldn’t have another [operation] ? and now here I am having three. It is what it is.”
I’ve been saying for years that Tiger isn’t going to play as long as we might like. He’s just 32, but he’s an OLD 32. He’s now been playing competitive golf for twenty five years. That’s a lot of wear and tear, especially with the incredible torque that allows him to hit those awe inspiring shots.
I predict that in the next couple of years, Tiger will cut his playing schedule back to the majors and a couple of other select tournaments. He doesn’t need to play the Tour minimum, because he doesn’t need the Tour.