Maybe the PGA Tour should just fold.
No, not this year. This year at least there’s a chance for Tour players.
Next year, though. And beyond. Just fold it. It will be too easy for one guy, and it’s impossible to think he can even be challenged.
Tiger Woods revealed on Wednesday that he needs ACL surgery and will miss the remainder of the 2008 golf season. He played the U.S. Open with a torn ACL and with two stress fractures in his left tibia.
He played 91 holes in 1 under on a U.S. Open setup, walked somewhere in the neighborhood of 21 miles last week in playing the tournament, winced a bunch and pulled off some of the most memorable shots of his incredible career.
All on one leg.
His doctors told him two weeks ago to walk the next three weeks on crutches. First Woods told his doctors he’d win the Open, and then he told his golf coach Hank Haney that they’d just work on putting that day. Had he followed doctor’s orders, Tiger would still have another week left on crutches and a 14th major still to be won.
But not only did Woods win the Open on one wheel, he first suffered the ACL tear last July jogging at home after the British Open.
Um, last July.
That’s almost 12 months ago.
So with a torn ACL, Tiger decided against surgery and, well, won seven straight tournaments, including a little tourney called the PGA Championship.
And then he rested in the offseason, hoping the pain would subside.
It didn’t, but neither did his golf game.
Again, with a freaking torn ACL, Woods made seven starts in 2008 and won five times.
Five — which is five times as many healthy knees he has.
Only now, when forced to, Woods will break down and have the surgery, which means the rest of the golf season is basically irrelevant. Sure, the British and PGA still have yet to be played, but they’ll be played without Tiger, which will put a small tarnish on whomever wins either event. And then there’s the Ryder Cup, in which now the Americans face no pressure to win. None. A Ryder Cup without pressure? What?
But that’s the way it is. Sure, there’s likely to be some competitive golf played out there over the next few months. Yawn.
And then, when Woods returns, it’s lights out. Remember, on one leg, Woods won 12 times, including two majors (and a second).
Who knew that the golfing world’s best chance to compete against the greatest player ever to play the game — and, knowing what we know now, that debate can be put to rest — would have been during one of the most dominant stretches of his career?
Tiger Woods will be healthy in 2009. And the PGA Tour may as well be dead.
The best of Tiger Woods is yet to come.
Because, if you can believe this, we’ve been seeing him at his worst.