BOSTON – It’s unlikely that Tiger Woods will ever reveal the truth about why he was driving well over the posted 45 mph speed limit at about 7 a.m. Tuesday February 23, and exactly what caused him to crash his 2021 Genesis SUV.
But this is not the way the career of golf’s GOAT should end, but realistically, Tiger Woods competitive golfing days may be over.
He is said to face a long and difficult rehabilitation but, at 45, with an already banged-up body, Woods more than likely will never tee it up again on the PGA Tour.
The crash was the latest setback for Woods, who was an unstoppable force on the golf course for the first 13 seasons of his career, culminating with a 14th career major victory at the 2008 U.S. Open. The then 32-year old famously won a Monday playoff against Rocco Mediate, playing 18 holes on a bum knee and two stress fractures. It was his fourth win in just six starts on the 2008 season. He followed up his injury-shortened 2008 campaign by winning six more Tour titles in 2009, en route to a 10th PGA Tour Player of the year award.
The legend of Tiger Woods was at its peak.
Then everything changed on Thanksgiving weekend in 2009, and for the next 12 seasons, it’s been a mix of highs and lows for Woods. He lost his marriage and personal brand; endured addiction, injuries, and embarrassment; but he also returned to world No. 1, claimed an 11th PGA Tour MVP award (2013); won the Tour Championship (2018), and finally secured his 15th major title at the 2019 Masters – arguably his greatest achievement.
The most recent medical reports state that Woods sustained “significant” injuries to his right leg which required a “long surgical procedure” at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, and is said to be in “stable, but guarded condition.” The prognosis is “unknown” for returning to the quality of life he enjoyed before February 23.
Woods reportedly broke both the tibia and fibula bones in multiple locations. The golfer also appeared to have suffered “open fractures,” which means the bones broke through the skin.
A rod was inserted to stabilize Woods’ tibia bones, while a combination of screws and pins were used for injuries in the ankle and foot.
“As if his body hasn’t endured enough,” said Jon Rahm, ahead of the WGC-Workday Championship in Florida.
“I just hope he can get out of the hospital after recovery and he can still play with his kids and have a normal life.”
PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan added, “Most of the players out here on the PGA Tour idolize Tiger. In 1996 when Tiger won the Masters by 12 shots he captivated every golfer’s life. News of his accident hits at your heart and soul”
This unfortunate chapter in Tiger Woods storied career is the latest in a long history of injuries for 15-time major champion and 82-time PGA Tour winner.
In December he underwent a microdiscectomy procedure to remove a pressurized disc fragment that was pinching a nerve. It was his fifth back surgery overall and the first since his spinal fusion in April 2017.
On Sunday, during the CBS broadcast of the Genesis Invitational, Woods was interviewed by Jim Nantz, and was asked about teeing it up at Augusta National in seven weeks.
“God I hope so. I’ve got to get there first,” said Woods. “A lot of it is based on my surgeons and doctors and therapist and making sure I do it correctly. This is the only back I’ve got, I don’t have much more wiggle room left.”
That scenario is officially over. Now, the most recognizable sports figure on the planet can only rely of prayers and hope!
“We are praying right now for Tiger to return to a quality of life,” said close friend John Cook on PGA Tour radio. “Not whether he can play golf again.”
NBC’s Paul Azinger, who will be broadcasting this weekend’s World Golf Championship, added, “The good news is that it’s not life-threatening.
“This shows you how much the world appreciates elite athletes. Tiger is larger than life. His presence crosses beyond the sport of golf, of all cultures and all walks of life. We are all rooting for him to recover.”