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The woes of Woods - Is this the end?

By: Golf Shake | Mon 21 Sep 2015

Post by sports writer, Derek Clements

THE news that Tiger Woods has undergone a second back operation after doctors discovered that the first one hadn't worked surely finally spells the end of the most remarkable golf career of modern times.

Woods had planned to play several times this year as the new wraparound PGA Tour season gets under way, but now says that it will be 2016 before he can contemplate a return to action. It is the latest in a catalogues of medical disasters for the 14-time major champion, but it hardly comes as a surprise to any follower of the game.

He has been in decline since winning the last of his majors, the 2008 US Open at Torrey Pines, while playing with a broken leg. Woods has always put his body under immense strain due to the speed of his golf swing. It was entirely because of this that he spent so much time in the gym, trying to build his muscles to withstand the forces he inflicted upon them. But from day one, many old sages predicted that trouble lay ahead.

Could this be the end for Tiger? Will he walk away? 

The only surprise is that the back problems have taken so long to emerge. We have seen him suffer with injuries to knees, calves, ankles and neck and, as the years have gone by, the recovery time has taken ever longer. As has his ability to rediscover his form.

This year has been a disaster. We have seen him top drives, top fairway woods, flunk iron shot and, worst of all, suffer the yips while chipping. As always, Woods remains defiant, insisting that he will be back and will be back to winning ways in 2016.

You may kid yourself Tiger, but you are not kidding anybody else!

He will be 40 when he comes back, and the game has moved on. And he has only himself to blame because he was the one who showed today's generation the importance of fitness. Jason Day and Rory McIlroy routinely smash the ball 325 yards. Woods used to do that too. However, Day and McIlroy generally find fairways. Woods never has.

We used to look at his short game in awe. Then along came Jordan Spieth, who holes 40-foot putts for fun.

Sorry Tiger, but it really is game over. The big question is what he will do with the rest of his life. He seems unable to find personal happiness, but he could do the game of golf a great service by acting as a global ambassador, travelling the world and getting kids turned on to what the game has to offer. Sadly, Tiger is a selfish and self-absorbed individual who is more likely to dedicate the rest of his life to wine, women and song.

It is all such a sad, sad end to what has been a stellar career.

This is how the past 18 months have played out for Woods:

2014: March 31 - Undergoes back surgery - a microdiscectomy - and is ruled out of The Masters for the first time in his career.

2014: May 28 - Announces he has still not recovered and will miss the US Open at Pinehurst as a result.

July 20 - Finishes 69th in the Open at Royal Liverpool, his worst 72-hole finish in a major in the paid ranks.

August 3 - Withdraws during the final round of the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational in clear pain after hitting a shot.

August 8 - Misses just his fourth cut in 66 majors as a professional after suffering yet more back trouble at the US PGA Championship at Valhalla.

August 14 - Announces he does not wish to be considered for the Ryder Cup team due to a back injury, later revealing he did not feel he could have won a point for the United States.

August 25 - Ends professional relationship with swing coach Sean Foley.

November 22 - Appoints Chris Como as swing consultant.

2015: January 9 - Confirms he will start his 2015 season at the Waste Management Phoenix Open.

January 30 - Records the worst round of his professional career with an 11-over par 82 in the second round in Phoenix.

February 5 - Withdraws from his next event, the Farmers Insurance Open, during the first round because of back pain.

February 11 - Takes an indefinite break, saying: ‘‘Right now, I need a lot of work on my game, and to still spend time with the people that are important to me.’‘

March 30 - Drops out of the world’s top 100 golfers for the first since 1996.

April 3 - Announces that he will compete at The Masters.

April 13 - Finishes joint 17th at Augusta after a closing 73. Woods went into the final round in a tie for fifth with Rory McIlroy.

May 3 - Announces his relationship with girlfriend Lindsey Vonn is over.

June 6 - Shoots a career-worst 85 - 13 over par - in the third round at the Memorial Tournament in Ohio.

June 18: Shoots his worst round at the US Open - a 10-over par 80 - in the first round at Chambers Bay and misses the cut.

July 18: Also makes an early exit from The Open at St Andrews, missing consecutive cuts in majors for the first time.

August 14: Makes it three missed cuts in a row at the US PGA Championship.

August 23: Records best finish of season, a tie for 10th, in the Wyndham Championship.

September 18: Announces he has had a second back operation and hopes to return to action in early 2016

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