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Tiger Woods: Foolish or Courageous?

OK, so I was raving about Tiger’s performance on Saturday in the third round of the U.S. Open because of how well he played despite a knee injury that was killing him. Skeptics said he was faking it, and so did fellow players on tour, most notably Retief Goosen. I saw the pained look on his face and knew all wasn’t kosher. That feeling was confirmed as the news dropped on Wednesday that Tiger’s done for the year to get reconstructive surgery on his knee. So this much we do know: Tiger Woods won a major playing on a bum knee with a ruptured ACL and double stress fractures as the result of the arthroscopic surgery recovery. That part makes him courageous. But what might make him foolish was his decision to commit to playing the tournament rather than keep himself on the shelf. According to swing coach Hank Haney, not only was Tiger aware he should not have been playing, but he also called his shot:

“The week of Memorial [two weeks before the Open], I thought there was no chance he could play,” Haney said in a telephone interview from his home in Texas. “The doctors told him he needed to be on crutches for three weeks and then three more weeks of inactivity, and then you start rehabbing.

“But Tiger looked the guy in the eye and said, ‘I’m playing in the U.S. Open and I’m going to win.’ Then he started putting on his shoes and told me we’re going to go practice. It’s just incredible.”

OK, so there’s the legend. And Tiger did make it worth his while because he won. But was this in hindsight a foolish move, knowing what we know now — that he was going against doctors’ advice? This isn’t the first time we’ve seen a player go against doctor advice, and doctors don’t always have the right assessment (many seek second opinions). Still, despite the heroics, maybe it wasn’t worth it in the long run to do what Tiger did. Hopefully his career won’t be cut short by this knee injury. And truthfully, we’ll never know how much this particular choice impacted his injury. For all we know, he could have shredded his knee down the line anyway.

(Photo Courtesy Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images)


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  • Gene

    I certainly thought he was faking it, because i never expected him to be foolish enough to take such a risk. Yes, he won – but barely. If Rocco had sunk that putt, how foolish would Tiger have felt?

    I felt he was foolish, because now he will miss the opportunity to play in at least the next two majors. Tiger has only one more goal in golf – to win 19 majors, or one more than Jack Nicklaus. We will never know whether the 90 holes of golf he played at the US Open will have jeopardized the chance or even prevented Tiger from reaching that last big career goal.

    Still, it was high drama and a great achievement.

  • Tom

    Tiger Woods is either very stupid or very greedy. At least now when there is a golf game on the guys who are playing well will get some recognition from the sports announcers as to how well they are playing insted of comparing everything these other guys do, to Tiger Woods.
    The regular players like Michelson and Garcia are good players but when Tiger Woods is playing in the same tournament, you never hear anything about the other guys, only Tiger Woods. These other guys are gentlemen players, you don’t see them swearing or banging their clubs like a spoiled child or Tiger Woods. He is so arrogant that he had to play last weekend becuase he was better than everyone else.

  • SpinMax

    Wow, look at all the haterism. I like when he curses and throws his club down, just like a real person on every course. He demands perfection of himself on every shot. That intensity makes him the greatest.

    These were his options:
    1. he won pga, 2nd at masters, won US open all with torn ACL, will miss next two majors. 14 major wins

    2. have ACL surgery 10 months ago, miss PGA, miss Masters, maybe miss British. Still at 12 major wins

    3. rehab ACL, win PGA, 2nd at Masters, take off 6-8 weeks to heal fractures, miss US open, miss British, come back for PGA. Have ACL surgery another day. Still have 13 majors

    4. win PGA, 2nd at masters, have ACL done, miss USOpen, British, PGA. Still at 13 majors.

    I’ll take #1 which is what he did and gave us an all time amazing show, has 14 majors and only misses 2 majors.

  • Ronald

    Will Sports Illustrated still put Tiger on the cover if Zach Johnson wins the British?

  • BRAD

    I GUESS YOU DID NOT SEE SERGIO GIVE THE FINGER AS HE WALKED OF THE OR CRY BABY PHIL POUTING AS HE GOOFED.YES TIGER WILL MISSED. MAYBE NOW PHIL WILL WIN

  • http://newscrawler.net JoeCrawler

    Sergio did that? LOL

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