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Tiger Still Lost in the Woods as Injury Nightmare Continues

By: Golf Shake | Wed 24 Feb 2016

Post by Sports Writer Derek Clements

FOR anybody who cares about this game that we all love, it is deeply disappointing to learn that Tiger Woods is still nowhere close to putting a date in his diary when he will return to tournament golf. It is, of course, possible that we will never see him in action again.

Being the ferocious competitor that he is, Woods is unlikely to accept that, at the age of 40, it is all over and will surely make at least one more comeback attempt.

Tiger Woods

As sad as it is to learn that he is still struggling to put his back problems behind him, the reality is that the game has moved on without him. In his absence, the PGA Tour is enjoying record attendances in 2016, with 625,000 people attending the Waste Management Phoenix Open and record crowds at the Northern Trust Open. There were some who believed that the professional game would suffer without Woods, that TV viewing figures would fall off a cliff. It hasn't happened.

Those of us who saw Woods win the 1997 Masters will always wonder what he might have achieved had his body and his public image not taken such a battering. As it is, we should all give thanks for what he brought to the game and for all the youngsters who found golf sexy after watching him win his 14 majors.

However, the game has moved on and, at the highest level at least, it is arguably healthier than it has ever been.

It turns out that Woods is a pretty clever cookie. While he refuses to give us any hint about when he may return to the game, he has issued footage of himself hitting golf balls on a simulator. The very fact that we are talking about this proves that Woods remains big news and that we all want to see him make one more attempt to recapture past glories.

And it has to be said that the swing looks good. But there is a whole world of difference between hitting balls at a simulator and going out and doing so in tournament conditions. One thing that strikes me is how easy the swing looks - and that was far from being the case when we last saw him in action.

Your correspondent has always felt that the only way for Woods to get back anywhere close to where he once was is to stop trying to hit the cover off every ball he strikes. He is an inherently strong individual and, despite all his injuries, remains a pretty impressive physical specimen. Who knows? He may finally have got the message that it is time to start swinging within himself.

On the other hand, perhaps the whole swing simulator thing is nothing more than a publicity stunt, designed to keep the media off his back - and who could honestly blame him if that turns out to be the case? 

ESPN reported on comments that Tiger's condition had deteriorated and that he was barely able to walk or sit. So it seems pretty obvious that the footage was released to counter that argument.  Whatever the reason, golf no longer needs Tiger Woods but it wouldn't half like to see him back, winning, strutting the fairways on Sunday afternoons while wearing his trademark red polo top. Fingers crossed.

For more news and updates related to Tiger Woods visit: www.golfshake.com/news/tag/tiger-woods/

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