Since picking up a golf club at the age of six, Tiger Woods has always been that one player that I aspired to be.
Anyone who grew up watching him play loved everything he did on the golf course, from the audacious trick shots to his incredible composure in the biggest moments.
From his first major win in 1997, he has managed to captivate fans that players before and after him have since not been able to do. For me personally, Tiger was a hero of mine and his announcement last week certainly brought great sadness to myself and many of his adoring fans.
SUBMIT AN ARTICLE
Apply to become a GMS writer by signing up and submitting a 250 word test article: http://gms.to/haveyoursay5
Article continues below
Woods has been plagued with injuries throughout the 2015 season and in September announced that he was expected to be back playing again in early 2016. However, after a few complications with his back rehab it has been said that there will be no timeline in which he is expected to play again.
The bad news for golf fans is that this could potentially mean we may not see him for the whole of the 2016 season.
Article continues below
Woods said at a press conference last week: “That's the hardest part for me is there’s really nothing I can look forward to, nothing I can build towards.”
The indication I got from this, having watched him vigorously over the majority of his 20 years as a professional is that he does not see himself coming back or at least does not have the same hunger too. Even if he does manage to come back, will it be the same Woods who dominated the game, crushing every player that challenged him?
When asked when the last time he swung a golf club, he replied: “About two months ago ... I hit a chip shot left-handed.
“I miss being out here with the boys and mixing it up with them and see who can win the event. That's fun.”
The beginning of the end to his career dates way back to the 2009 PGA Championship at Hazeltine National Golf Club when Woods - who had previously never lost a Major having led after three rounds - blew a lead to allow the unknown South Korean Yang Yong-eun to take victory.
While many will argue that injuries are the main cause for his demise from the top of Golf, that was the sign that mentally, Woods was not the same player he was at the turn of the century.
It is hard to believe the most talented player to ever play the game of golf is just simply going to retire, but his career as a top-level golfer, who will win and compete for major honours is over.
From now on, the only times we will probably see Woods on a golf course will be to test his wits against today's top players. He just loves the playing the game too much and that will never change, regardless of health or ability.
It is very much up to the likes of Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth now to create some excitement around golf again, because otherwise, a Woods-less golf tournament just simply will not be able to attract the audience it has done over the past 20 years.
If you never make it back though Tiger, thank you for everything. Your shot on the 16th at Augusta in 2005 will always be my favourite golfing memory, and typified your genius on a golf course.