The Man Who Isn’t There

The weekend of the Masters and for once I am talking about golf. It is sad that for many their focus on this weekend has little to do with the players actually competing in Augusta.
Jordan Spieth and Bubba Watson are five under par but for some that does not matter. They care about the man who isn’t there. All they care about is Tiger.

Tiger Woods missed the 2014 Masters according to this report from His absence is due to surgery to repair a pinched nerve in his back. I wish I could say this is a surprise. It is not. More and more often Tiger has not finished tournaments or simply skipped them altogether. Nagging injuries are often the reason given for withdrawing from the events.

Is Tiger simply suffering from an injury plagued period of his career or is it something more?

Tiger has never been my guy, my golfer. I never understood the obsession. Without a doubt he is an incredible, once-in-a-lifetime golfer, but I always preferred Phil Mickelson. With Tiger he is so good all he would do is disappoint me. You always expected him to win. So if he won, well that is what he was supposed to do. Anything else is just some level of failure, a disappointment. With Phil, he plays like we would. He takes chances he probably shouldn’t but that is why I love watching him. Mickelson is one of us.

Sadly the Tiger we have seen recently is not the Tiger we were used to. Some blame injuries, others point to his public problems in his personal life. What if it is something simple?

Maybe he is just getting older. Everyone ages. Peyton Manning is not the same quarterback he was ten years ago, why should we expect Tiger to be.

Maybe his body simply cannot do the things it used to do. He cannot make the same shots he always did. And maybe, just maybe Tiger cannot deal with that. He is used to playing from the front of the pack, being chased. Now he is doing the chasing. The things he did before, things that made him great, are simply not working anymore.

If it is simply injuries he may just need time to recover. If it is father time, well someday time will run out. Even for Tiger Woods.



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