SPORTS

The Tiger Woods of old is gone and not likely to ever return

Joe Misulonas
Author
Joe Misulonas
The Tiger Woods of old is gone and not likely to ever return

It’s been a rough few months for Tiger Woods. In May, he was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence and then admitted to a prescription-drug addiction as the cause. Last week, he pled guilty to reckless driving for that May incident. And then yesterday it came out that Woods had at least five different drugs in his system at the time of his arrest.

The biggest takeaway from this news is that Tiger Woods (and his fans) should let go of their dream of a possible comeback — and hope he gets the help he needs.

Since 2014, he’s had four surgeries on his back, and the complications for those procedures is what led him to abuse prescription medicines. As a result, his golf career has taken a serious downturn. He hasn’t played in a tournament since February of this year, hasn’t made the cut in a major tournament since April 2015 and hasn’t won an event since August 2013.

Still, in the run-up to nearly every major there’s a huge discussion surrounding a possible Tiger comeback. “He’s looked good in practices! His body is finally ready to compete! He can still compete!”

But it’s obvious that Tiger is just not in any shape to play professional golf at a high level. Four back surgeries in a span of three years is very problematic. Back surgeries cause severe complications; just ask Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr, who had to miss long stretches of the NBA schedule because his back caused him too much pain to appear on the bench. And Kerr’s not doing anything near the kind of activity that Tiger does in a golf tournament.

And besides the back problems, Tiger’s also dealing with personal problems that require his full attention.

This isn’t about golf anymore.

Tiger fans need to accept the reality of the situation. Stop hyping up a comeback and putting pressure on him to return to competitions when he’s clearly not able to do so. Encourage him to stay out of the limelight, rehab his back and get his body into the best shape possible.

So let’s forget about a comeback and hope he returns to a happy, normal life.