Tiger Woods for the best part of a decade has ruled the game of golf. He has driven the game into the twenty first century almost singlehandedly.
Just the mention of his name would send shivers down the back of his competitors. He would have beaten them before they even made it to the first tee.
As the next generation of players come to the fore it looks as if the ferocity of Tiger’s roar doesn’t strike the same fear into the chasing pack as it once did.
A string of injuries has derailed his dominance in the game and quite possibly his chances of surpassing Jack Nicklaus’s record of 18 majors.
Woods' career has been hampered by injuries, with his left knee giving him the most problems.
He has had an astonishing four operations on his left knee. Two on his ACL, one to remove fluid, and the other to remove a couple of benign tumours.
More recently he has been having trouble with his lower back. In late 2012 and early 2013 the signs of his back problems became more and more prominent.
Spasms became more frequent and painful as he fell to his knees after making a shot during the pro-am at The Barclays. Yet, Woods regularly shrugged it off as too many soft mattresses in hotels.
It wasn’t until he had to withdraw from the Arnold Palmer Invitational early last year where he knew he had to do something to address the problem.
He went under the knife in March for a pinched nerve
Having returned to action in July he suffered another spasm. He withdrew from the WGC Bridgestone Invitational.
After a week of intense physio he played in the PGA Championship. Not at is best he failed to make the cut in Kentucky.
Worst of all he pulled himself out of the running or the Amercian Ryder Cup team to concentrate on getting fully fit.
And recently after carding the worst round of his career he pulled out of the Farmers Insurance Open after again injuring his lower back
Many feel that his disproportioned body is the problem
His lower body is struggling to carry the weight of his upper half. This is mainly caused from his love of navy seal training.
With Tiger Woods struggling with injury and arguably past his best, rumours have surfaced that he should call it a day. With pride in hand he will still be remembered as one of the greatest ever to grace the game.
He is constantly overshadowed by the younger fitter golfers like Rory McIlroy, Adam Scott, Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson. He will struggle to reach the number one ranking again.
Woods will struggle to be in contention for any of the majors and will always have the thought in the back of his head about injuring his back again.
On the other hand he is still the major attraction in the sport. He is still very much a crowd puller.
If he was to retire from the game, golf would take a significant hit financially. The organisers and fans alike will hope he stays in the game for quite a while longer but Tiger needs to worry more about his health than how the game will fair without him.
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