Tiger Woods Withdraws from Northern Trust
Here’s a headline we have been dreading:
“Tiger withdraws from Northern Trust with injury”.
This morning at 10:15 that news hit the wires. Bummer. Citing a “mild oblique strain that led to pain and stiffness” Woods made the announcement prior to his scheduled second-round tee time. This withdrawal follows a lackluster opening round 75 (+4) when he cited stiffness and his Pro-Am tune-up when that stiffness limited him to chipping and putting on his second nine holes.
Since his unthinkable and phenomenal Masters victory he has been the model of mediocrity. He has been out of sorts on the few occasions when he has competed. His short iron play, once his signature strength has been nearly dreadful by tour standards. He hasn’t contended. Dang, he just hasn’t played much at all. Here’s his stat line in the 5 tournaments since Augusta:
1. PGA Championship – Missed Cut
2. The Memorial – T-9
3. US Open – T21
4. The Open Championship – Missed Cut
5. Northern Trust – Withdraw
We have known since his unexpected return to tour golf that Tiger is no longer Tiger. Meaning, the dominating week after week force that blistered the tour for over a decade is in the history books. That isn’t to say that he’s incapable of winning another major or passing Sam Snead for most wins on tour. He is. It’s just that the spinal fusion surgery that followed four other back procedures renders him a victim of circumstance. The circumstance being his fused back severely limits his ability to practice and compete. More and more it’s apparent he needs the stars to majestically align for him to compete and win.
We’re unlikely to see him play much tournament golf. He’s only teed it up 11 times since his Hero Challenge in November. Less than 40 rounds played. More missed cuts and WD’s than wins.
At this point I would rather he shut it down and regain whatever health he is able to regain and start anew in 2020. But that’s me. Not Tiger.
The upcoming BMW at Medinah will provide a definitive look into the rest of 2019 and beyond for Tiger. Will he tee it up? Will he contend? Will he qualify for East Lake? Stay tuned.