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You’ll Have To Take My Word For It

Posted on Tuesday 19 July 2005

Candidly, I was glued to the tube over the weekend, watching the masterful performance that Tiger Woods put on at St. Andrews. While those around him flailed, pouted and succumbed to the pressure he showed that he is once again at the top of his game, and at the top of the golf world.

Where has he been? He’s been hurt, that’s where. If you think back to the 2002 season, he would frequently be seen limping down a fairway, favoring a knee. I remember vividly seeing him nearly fall down, wincing in obvious pain, during a late season hit-and-giggle event in California (it may have been his own charity event). He gradually let the media know that he was going to have knee surgery in the off season. 2003, the year after the surgery, was an odd year. While he won 5 times (Buick Invitational, WGC Match Play, Bay Hill, Western Open, and the WGC/Amex) his performance in the majors was what prompted the talk of The Slump (T15, T20, 4th, and T39 at the PGA). I said at the time, unfortunately not in writing, that I thought he was still hurt and that the surgery had not gone as well as one would have hoped.

Now I’ve got company with that theory. George White, writing for TheGolfChannel.com, says this:

But last week at the British, he dropped a very important clue. He was discussing his mother and her near proximity to the London bomb attacks. She didn’t mention it at the time, he said. And that wasn’t all unusual, despite the fact that she was so close to the tragedy.

“That’s kind of how our family is,” Woods said. “If you’re injured or you’re hurt or you’re sick or anything, you don’t tell anyone. You just deal with life and move on.”

This is important because at the end of the 2002 season, he himself underwent knee surgery. The knee had bothered him since he had arthroscopy done in college. The old swing involved more of a torquing of the knee. The revamped swing doesn’t involve the knee nearly as much. Anyway, it’s a very plausible theory. Tiger and a few close confidants are the only ones who know for certain. But if the theory is true, it certainly is understandable to make the change.


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