As Tiger Woods’ return to competitive golf draws nearer, the golfing world are almost unanimous in their support for the American.
Woods will be in the field at next week’s Quicken Loans National - a competition which raises money for his own charity foundation – as he looks to step up his preparations before the year’s next major, the British Open.
He, and all involved in golf, will hoping that he experiences no repercussions of the injury which forced him to take a break.
SUFFERING WITHOUT HIM
The sport has suffered without him. Viewing figures are down, as are attendances at events, and although golf is never reliant on one player it has had a marked negative effect on the sport.
Woods has been absent since the start of March and underwent surgery later that month to amend a back complain that had been troubling him for some time.
The pinned nerve complaint had stopped Woods playing to his maximum potential for a considerable period and it was decided that he would have to take drastic action to get him back to full health.
His lengthy absence saw him miss the Masters, for the first time in his professional career, and the US Open – meaning his chances of catching Jack Nicklaus’ major winning record, which stands at 18, were dealt a further blow.
His prolonged break from the game has seen his ranking drop, too. Woods did have a firm grip on the number one spot, but he has seen a number of players jump ahead of him in the ranking-lists.
Adam Scott currently sits firmly on top of the list, whilst he is now looking up at Henrik Stenson, Bubba Watson and Matt Kuchar in fifth position.
And getting his number one spot back will be one of his major aims, as he looks to show that he can still reproduce his top form.
One player that is hoping he has a successful return is Jason Day. The Australian may have been closing in on the 38-year-old in the rankings – he is just one spot behind Woods in sixth place – but he is delighted that golf’s highest profile star is back.
“The golfing world needs Tiger Woods,” Day said to reporters on the PGA Tour. “He’s made the golfing world - and especially professional golf - into what it is today. It’s great to have him back.
“I’m just hoping that he doesn’t push it too early, too soon and re-injure himself. As long as he’s 100 percent healthy, it’s good for him to come back,” he concluded.
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