Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods: We take a look at his return to golf in 2018

 

Introduction

Talk about golf and the first name that comes to mind is Tiger Woods. The guy has made such a name for himself that huge companies from all over the world like Nike and Rolex flock to earn a sponsorship deal with him. In recent years he has also been among the top paid athletes list if not being the highest paid athlete himself. With such a profile comes a ton of responsibility to perform. However, seeing as Woods is a human, injuries from overtraining are common.

Tiger Wood’s Injury

He has faced a number of injuries throughout his career. Things were pleasant at the beginning of his career but after 2007, consecutive injuries in successive years resulted in a number of surgeries being performed on his body. First off, complications in his Achilles tendons and calf arose, which hampered his efforts to win numerous titles. Tiger Woods had to withdraw from competitions like the WGC – Cadillac Championship. His most prominent injury, however, was related to his back. Woods started experiencing serious back pains from early 2014 where he had to withdraw from the Honda Classic. Later on, he also missed the Arnold Palmer Invitational and the Masters due to the same issue. He did return briefly in April of 2014 at the Quicken Loans National but failed to make a mark. Things did not return to normal as Woods, the 14-time major champion fell short of the cutoff in three out of four major competitions in the following year.

Fans took a sigh of relief when Woods performed well at the WGC-Bridgestone and the USPGA in 2015 but Woods failed to end 2015 on a high as he returned to the surgery table for yet another microdiscectomy surgery. He could not return for the entirety of 2016 as he recovered from his injuries. When he did return in 2017, Woods competed in the Hero World Challenge and finished 15th out of 18, not bad given the man came out of a serious injury. Later the professional golf player failed to meet the cut off at Torrey Pines for the Farmers Insurance Open and finally retired once again from the Dubai Desert Classic following back spasms. Woods had to go under the knife once again but this time for a career-threatening injury. He got a lower right back fusion surgery in April 2017 to alleviate his back problems.

“I’m optimistic this will relieve my back spasms and pain. When healed, I look forward to getting back to a normal life, playing with my kids, competing in professional golf and living without the pain I have been battling for so long,” said Woods on his website. The famous golf player had to take a 9 months hiatus from golf to recover fully, but when he returned he returned with a bang.

Start of The Season

By January Tiger Woods was ready to compete in the first competition of the season. The Farmers Insurance Open started off on January 25 and ended 29 January 2018, where Woods finished in the top 23 with just 3 points below par.

In the next competition held in the Riviera Golf Course in mid – February, Tiger Woods failed to make the cutoff. A disappointment thought by some but not for long as the highly-skilled athlete work hard to finish 12th in the next big competition. The Honda Classic which started only a few days after the Genesis Open saw the revival of Tiger Woods.

At the Valspar Championship, Woods managed to secure the second position with Reed with his final score being -9.  The Arnold Palmer Invitational of March 2018 saw Woods maintain a good position yet again, sharing the 5th position with R. Moore.

Masters 2018

However, at the Masters where it all mattered, Tiger Woods fell short on his performance. It was his first Master’s tournament in three years and the pressure was high. Unfortunately, Tiger Woods succumbed to the pressure and could not perform on par with other great players. Winning could have made a point to the world that the ex-number one golf player meant business but given the nature of his injury, it was a surprise he even made through the four rounds without any mishaps.

For the entirety of his play, Woods remained positive and tried his best but he wasn’t able to bring about his A-game for which he is known. Other than a few interesting putts, T. Woods wasn’t very impressive. A 29-foot Eagle he placed got quite an uproar which would have reminded him of his own dormant but very much alive, greatness.

“I think things are progressing,” he said, “It was a little bit disappointing I didn’t hit my irons as well as I needed to for this particular week. You miss it just a touch here it gets magnified. And I just didn’t do a good enough job this week in that regard. But, overall, I’m five or six tournaments into it. To be able to compete out here and to score like I did, it feels good.”

Further Tournaments

At the Wells Fargo Championship in May, Woods had yet another disappointing 3 days. Frustration carried on for the champion from the last competition as he managed to land in the top 55, an unfavorable position to be in before the start of the Players Championship. Woods blamed himself for the disappointing performance but he was confident that he would come out on top in the upcoming Players Championship.

Players Championship

Tiger Woods displayed that his intentions from the Wells Fargo Tournament were true. He did start off the first two rounds decently but as soon as the time progressed, Woods transformed into a golfing wonder as he successfully putt 14 birdies pleasing the spectators in the process. Keep in mind, the two – time Players Championship winner was unable to make a birdie in his last competition.

He lost momentum pretty soon though, as his 14-the hole ball sneaked into a bogey after warding away from the green patch. The champion couldn’t make his way into the top players by the end of the 3 days. He could have, had he been able to revive his ‘finisher’ status but that was to be a marvel for the future. 

U.S Open

The U.S Open proved to be an anti-thesis for Wood’s reprisal as he failed to even make the final cut-off. He started off with a poor first round with 78 under his belt. The second round was much better with Wood’s securing 2-over 72 but unfortunately, after a 78 he was too far off to make the final cut. This was Tiger’s consecutive poor performance in the U.S Open, with the last one in 2015. It was also the second time that Tiger was unable to make the cut in this season.

“Unfortunately, it’s just what I’ve done the last few events,” said Woods expressing his discontent. “I just haven’t putted well. You know, if I would have putted like I did the beginning of the year with this ball-striking, that would be ideal. Unfortunately, I just haven’t done that. I’m hitting it just fine. I just have not made any putts, and … I haven’t made those key ones to keep the momentum going, or if I have any positive momentum. I miss a putt and derail it. I just haven’t made those key putts in the last few events.”

PGA Championship

Tiger Woods played three more tournaments after his disappointing U.S Open performance. The Quicken Loans National saw him gain the T4 spot, while at The Open he got the T6 spot and at the WGC – Bridgestone Invitational he scored the T31 spot.

Although, finishing at T31was yet another disappointment for the Big Cat, he made up for it in the all-important competition. Tiger Woods put on his magical gloves this time as he impressed the crowd at the PGA Championship with some impressive birdies. The skillful player really pulled the audience both that were present an those who were watching on their television sets. The live broadcaster CBS also reaped in the benefits of his brilliant play as the TV channel posted a 6.1 rating for the PGA Championship.

Tiger Woods blasted a four – under 66 in the second round of the PGA Championship. The weather was unfair on Friday as the cloudy weather made play unviable. Play resumed on Saturday and ended with Woods in a strong position. In the third round that started on Sunday, Tiger Woods started at the par-5 8th hole where he made a birdie disappear amongst the cheers of the crowd. Woods hit two bogeys in the 10th and 12th while the 11th was cleared yet again by a smooth birdie. At the end of the day, Tiger was in clenching distance of the lead. He did well to maintain his position at the start of the last round and although he suffered a bogey at the 14th hole, he recovered thanks to a different approach. The ball was soon lost in the trees but was playable allowing Woods a chance to redeem himself.

The 42-year-old ended his round with a birdie for a 64, his best ever final round score in a major tournament.