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Berry Tramel


Tiger Woods: Time to step away and get right

by Berry Tramel Published: August 4, 2014

Tiger Woods gingerly walks the third hole at Firestone Country Club after injuring his back on a second-hole followthrough. (AP Photo)
Tiger Woods gingerly walks the third hole at Firestone Country Club after injuring his back on a second-hole followthrough. (AP Photo)

Never thought I’d say this, but Tiger Woods is getting a little old. And I don’t mean 38.

I mean his act. Or his actions. Or whatever you want to call it.

I don’t have any doubts that Tiger is injured. That his back hurts. But the guy who elevated the game of golf to such great heights over the past 20 years now is hurting the sport.

Tiger has played six third rounds on the PGA Tour this season. He has finished three fourth rounds.

Think about that. Half the time this season, Tiger didn’t finish the tournament even though he made the 36-hole cut, ostensibly because of injury but what seems to be hurting as much as anything is his pride.

Tiger missed a 54-hole cut at Torrey Pines (Farmers Insurance Open) in January when he skied to a 79 and seemed to mentally check out on the back nine.

Tiger withdrew from the Honda Classic in March after 13 holes on the final round, citing a bad back. Woods was five-over par for the day and 12 shots behind leader Rory McIlroy.

And then Sunday, Tiger left the Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone Country Club in Akron. He was three-over par for the day after eight holes and far back of the leaders.

Tiger is hurting, but he’s also clearly hurting the game. Tiger’s remarkable success earlier in his career has him chasing the history he hoped to obtain and the greatness he once had. And that chase is not working. It’s not working physically; Tiger needs some new advice on when to come back from injury. It’s not working mentally; his psychological edge is gone. It’s not working socially; the marketing wonders Tiger brings to tournaments goes kaput when he can’t even finish a tournament.

It’s time for Tiger to sit out the rest of this year, re-evaluate his physical and mental condition, and come back when he’s ready to play golf. As it is now, Tiger is nowhere near ready.


by Berry Tramel
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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