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Iain Carter Column

US Open
by Iain Carter (U7103772) 18 June 2008
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Tiger Woods never ceases to astound. His stunning US Open victory was enough, but now he has revealed the full extent and nature of the damage he has done to his left leg the story becomes even more astonishing.

It also leaves the golfing world reeling and despite his reassurances there must now be concerns over Woods’ golfing future.

Make no mistake the forthcoming surgery to repair his anterior cruciate ligament is aimed at saving what is becoming the most glittering career the game has ever seen.

There’s unanimous agreement in golf that the only thing that can stop him overtaking Jack Nicklaus’ record 18 majors is injury.

Also be in no doubt that the Open at Royal Birkdale next month, August’s US PGA in Michigan and the Ryder Cup in September will not be the same without him.

They will inevitably carry the asterisk saying ‘Tiger missing’; such is his domination of world golf.

"I know much was made of my knee throughout the last week, and it was important to me that I disclose my condition publicly at an appropriate time," Woods said.

"I wanted to be very respectful of the USGA and their incredibly hard work, and make sure the focus was on the US Open.

"Now it is clear that the right thing to do is to listen to my doctors, follow through with this surgery, and focus my attention on rehabilitating my knee.

"While I am obviously disappointed to have to miss the remainder of the season, I have to do the right thing for my long-term health and look forward to returning to competitive golf when my doctors agree that my knee is sufficiently healthy.

"My doctors assure me with the proper rehabilitation and training, the knee will be strong and there will be no long-term effects. Although I will miss the rest of the 2008 season, I'm thrilled with the fact that last week was such a special tournament.”

Woods’ disclosure of the extent of the damage done, he is also suffering a double stress fracture of his left tibia, puts to rest claims that he was ‘acting up’ during the US Open.

There are reports that fellow players could hear creaks and cracks coming from Woods’ knee as he was playing and by the end of his third round his only option was to play a gentle fade off the last tee.

He still made an eagle that gave him a one stroke lead going into the final round.

Woods’ Torrey Pines victory, already the stuff of legend, gathers yet more lustre.

Clearly playing this US Open was a huge gamble and it was rewarded with his fourteenth major title, but at what long term cost?

And the Open, US Open, Ryder and FedEx Cups are all suffering a terrible blow, although it might be argued this might boost the US Ryder Cup effort.

Although Woods was his country’s leading points scorer when they were thrashed by Europe at the K Club two years ago, he has only played on the winning side once since making his debut in 1997.

The worst period in the American Ryder Cup history has coincided with Woods’ career. Repeated captains have tried to make him a talismanic figure, but the world number one has rarely shown much enthusiasm for the matches.

So the likes of Phil Mickelson and the fiery Jim Furyk will now have to play those leading roles – and they may relish the chance - in a team that’s expected to contain a lot of new blood.

That’s the only consolation I can find for American golf in the wake of this news.

It’s to be hoped Woods makes a full recovery and when he does return he’ll not lack confidence – after all he knows what he can do on just one leg.

Latest 10 comments

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posted Jun 22, 2008

Bayomad made a statement that Tiger Woods has done more for golf than anyone in living memory but if he had cared to read up on the history of golf he would have seen that statement should have been aimed at Arnold Palmer who turned golf inyo an internationally acclaimed sport. His support of not only our own Open championship but many others attraacted the interest of American, Australian,New Zealand and South African players and as a direct consequence increased crowds and therefore prize money. The person who acknowledged this fact on more than one occasion was - TIGER WOODS and if he can accept it why do you not go along with him??.
For the record in 1970 Jack Nicklaus played 83 competitive rounds took 5790 strokes and had an average of 69.6 strkes per round. HE topped the money list with $285,897 out of a total prize fund of $8,000,000 almost doubled in only six years. Isn`t it amazing what you find out if you just do a little research??

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posted Jun 23, 2008

It's quite simple, Nicklaus 18 Majors, Woods 14. Until he matches the magic 18 total, Nicklaus will always be better. Simple, it can not be argued against. Also worth noting Nicklaus Ryder Cup record is better.

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posted Jun 23, 2008

Good point gunnerchuds, unfortunately there are those who view the world through rose coloured glasses but heres another piece of useless information.
Jack Nicklaus won 82 times on tour including 18 majors making a major every 4.55 wins.
Tiger Woods has won 65 times on tour including 14 majors making a major every 4.64 wins.
Jacks stroke average was 70.39 whilst Tigers has been71.06. Jack still wins on points

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posted Jun 24, 2008

Suggest all you golf jocks out there start watching the wires......the word in the woods camp is that he is likely to be out until this time next year......watch this space...

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posted Jun 24, 2008

Tiger's a better golfer than Jack, IMO.

Also, it's unfair to Tiger to compare his winning percentage, number of Major and PGA wins until his career is over. It's not ... but when it is, he'll not only own Jack's major record, but also Snead's total wins record.

Tiger's ability to focus in when he absolutely needs to is uncanny.

Europe still wins the Ryder Cup, however ... and it wouldn't matter if Tiger were there.

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posted Jun 25, 2008

Vijay Singh on a good day is better thaan both imo

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posted Jul 1, 2008

positive steve i lke your post mate but to correct you Nicklaus won all but THREE of his majors in the 60's and 70's, NOT all but ONE (he won the 80 US open and pga as well as the 86 masters). i agree 100% with what you say though bud, the depth of competition nowadays is staggering and thats what makes him the best in my opinion, even though i never got a chance to see jack hit a golf ball.

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posted Jul 1, 2008

"Jack Nicklaus won 82 times on tour including 18 majors making a major every 4.55 wins.
Tiger Woods has won 65 times on tour including 14 majors making a major every 4.64 wins."

-What a ridiculous statistic to quote!

More useful would be % of majors won..

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posted Jul 1, 2008

Phil. Jack has won 73 times.
Its Sam Snead who has 82 victories.

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posted Jul 1, 2008

Sorry ParTeeLennyD but you got your figures mixed up, Jack won 73 times on the regular tour as you say but he also won 1o times on the senoirs tour AND won a further 21 tournaments worldwide. A total of 104.
Sam Snead on the other hand won 82 tour events PLUS 11 seniors events AND a further 60 events worldwide, A total of 153.
Snead was recognised as the No 1 player in the world from the late 1930`s until Jack took over from him in the nid 60`s

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