It's around three years ago that he had his first back surgery, I was recovering from my own surgery at the time and I remember one of the physios explaining the forces that went through the spinal colum during a golf swing. Seeing a model of a spine being used to demonstrate what the loading on the spine was like was very interesting. The consensus at that time was that we'd seen Tigers best years behind him.
Roll on three years, two more back surgeries for Tiger and his body is not what it used to be. Age and a serious weakness in his back are catching up on him. He needs to be very careful as he is still a relatively young man. Now, even my surgeon jokes that I have a chance to play like Tiger, I always politely tell him I can hit the ball straighter than Tiger
Think I'd like to remember him at his very best, The Open 2000 for instance where he played four rounds at St Andrews and never found a bunker, he won by eight shot. Tiger at his very best.
I think doctors must learn that line in their first year of medical school. I have 3 friends who come to mind that play golf and have had some sort of procedure on their backs. All of them heard that line from their doctors.
I might be the next one to hear it from my doctors. In the past month, I've been diagnosed with Degenerative Joint Disease. That's a fancy way of saying I have arthritis, in this case largely on my spinal column. I'm not feeling any grinding or pain so far. It's more a matter that my vertebrate are pinching some nerves now and then. They radiate the pain out to my sides in various areas. It sounds dramatic, but it's really not all that bad and swinging a club actually doesn't seem to irritate it at all.
For you guys around my age, (I'm going to be 68 in May), you know what we're always told is the solution... Lose weight and exercise more. I haven't got a single right to argue with my need to lose weight, so I'm trying.
And I'd be thrilled to play as well as Tiger, even as well as Tiger if he was in traction. ;-)
Fusion or no, can anyone name one single golfer, even a journeyman pro, who came back to play well after 4 back surgeries?
Strange as this may sound, if Tiger could be surgically corrected to feel no pain, it might not be as good for him as he thinks. He has a propensity to turn fast, swing fast and bash the living dog water out of a poor unsuspecting golf ball.
He may be inclined to try hitting the ball like he used to and his 40+ body simply isn't going to be up to the strain.
I'd like to see him come back and play, but I think his time is now past.
I think when I started this thread I did so wishing he wasn't finished and that he would come back and win at least 1 more major. Unfortunately he needs to be told by his nearest and dearest that it's time to call it a day.
It makes you wonder what his surgeons were doing on Op 2 & 3 which were supposed to clear up debris and loose ends from his initial surgery. I'll go along with bonobobananas and say that's his competitive days over. I do hope he takes everything into consideration as I'd hate to see him permanently affected by this if he tries to play on.
I'm not sure how to feel about Tiger's DUI. If he had just hurt his back and got drunk that night, I might feel differently, but this is in the middle of a time period when he's supposedly about to come back to the tour, so it sounds like a really bad choice to me. Heaven knows he has the resources to get a ride home if he needs it.
I admit I'm biased because I've worked professionally with youth for over 40 years of adult life and I make a really good speech about avoiding the usual vices.
I also admit the press is going to, (and appears to be already), make a really big deal out of something that wouldn't be mentioned in church on Sunday among 99.999% of every family in the world, but this is Tiger.
All this time I thought it was because he got a JPX-900 driver...
Reports are saying Tiger's blood alcohol level was 0.00, so that's good.
Honestly, I can't help but compare this to the late circumstances in the life of Michael Jackson. He was surrounded by so many people who only said yes to his bidding, that he woke up dead one morning following the ingestion of all the pills his doctor gave him.
On a more serious vein about DJ, I think the best thing that probably happened to him was his good sense to listen to Wayne Gretzky. I don't know for a fact, but I suspect Wayne saw something in DJ, not the least of which that he loved Paulina, but Wayne turned into a father figure DJ needed at a critical time.
Since Earl Woods died, nobody has represented that figure to Tiger. Some people can move on after the loss of a loved one, but I'm thinking Tiger has some sort of self image problem that Earl helped overcome with his fatherly support. Nobody has replaced Earl in a position that Tiger respects enough to listen to if they smacked him on the head and said to get his head screwed on straight.
I'd love to know what meds he's taking. Does his concept of playing without pain have more to do with pain management? In that case, he'll never be back.
Further news in the past couple days has shown the dash cam video of Tiger being interviewed by the police officers on the scene.
He seemed to have moments of clarity, enough to tell them he had not been drinking, borne out by a 0.00% reading on 2 breathalyser tests. He was clear about taking some medications.
About 180* opposite was his lack of coherency over where he was, what time it was, where he was coming from or where he was going. He also didn't know how his car tires and rims became damaged.
I don't usually allow myself to make presumptions about other people's lives, but I'm going to suggest Tiger is losing personal control with the so called assistance of some doctors he trusts. I might guess he needs more rehab to reduce the medications he's taking, at least to the same or larger extent than what he might still need for his back.
Just because Tiger makes news, and not the least of which because he lives about 150 miles north of me, it's repeated with the usual speculation in the local news too. The local reporting has probably taken this story deeper than national news. It just gets sadder and sadder.
I haven't been paying much attention to this saga but one thing that has stood out out, for me. is the lack of appearance and comment by Mark Steinberg who I expected to show up in Florida ASAP and handle the whole affair for Tiger. Has there been some form of disagreement?