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Can Tiger Woods still compete at the US Open?

harryreardon
ANALYST
Feature
429   //    15 Apr 2018, 01:04 IST

Omega Dubai Desert Classic - Day One
Omega Dubai Desert Classic - Day One

The world of golf has been buffeted by innovation in recent years, with changing trends in viewership and new opinions on the way the sport should be played challenging traditionalist at every turn.

Despite the recent maelstrom of revisions hitting the sport of golf, however, the ever-changing roster of famous players has remained dominated by a few age-old names, chief amongst them, Tiger Woods.

After Woods’ comeback from his public fall from grace a few years ago, many critics are contending that he can’t compete – morally, legally, or practically, at the US open. Is there any truth to the rumors that Tiger Woods’ best days are behind him?

Back surgeries have fans worried

Despite the hubbub surrounding Tiger Woods fall from grace, which featured the world-famous icon battling legal troubles and getting involved in a painful marital dispute.

Much of the whispering surrounding Woods’ future performance on the green, is centered around the myriad of back surgeries the Champion has undergone over the past few years.

Being a staple figure of the golf world for untold years, brought some consequences with it. Woods has racked up an impressive list of injuries and has routinely undergone surgery for both his knees and his back.

This has many critics contending that Woods can’t possibly hope to compete at the forthcoming US Open.

Those who are worried, or gleeful, about Woods' injuries are justified in bringing them up. No athlete can hope to have their record remain untarnished if it’s sullied by a slew of potentially career-threatening injuries.

Back surgeries are intensively complex procedures, after all, and even the most skilled surgeon often can’t help dedicated athletes who have spent years punishing their bodies with arduous training routines in the pursuit of perfection.

But is Tiger Woods really doomed because he’s spent a fair amount of time on the operating table?

As a matter of fact, while the plethora of operations Woods has undergone are certainly playing against him in the long run, it will take more than mere back troubles or knee problems to sate the hungry appetite of one of golf’s greatest and most talented names.

With at least 14 major Championships under his belt, Woods has all the experience needed to survive and thrive on the green.

He merely needs adequate time to recover, ample training time to scratch off whatever rust may have formed during his time off, and a fresh-spirited determination to cement his legacy as one of the greatest golfers of all time.

Such things are often easier said than done, but great odds have never stopped athletes of Woods’ caliber before.

Woods’ filing to place in the US Open for the first time since 2015, presents the perfect opportunity for the beleaguered professional to get back on his feet and woe over the members of the golfing community who have hopped off his bandwagon since his tabloid-fueled fall from the public spotlight.

Don’t count Woods out

Many critics of Woods are still counting him out right off the bat because of his 1995 performance at the US Open, which saw Woods depart from the competition early, thanks to a wrist injury.

That fateful 1995 performance, which occurred at Shinnecock Hills, where this year’s US Open will also be hosted, is supposed to be sufficient evidence that one of the most talented golfers to ever pick up a club is past his prime, is incapable of putting on a show worth watching.

Those who have grown up witnessing Tiger Woods astonish the nation with his impressive skills, when he was as young as 2-years-old, should know better than to count him out early, however. 

His critics do have a point in some regards, of course, just because Woods has been golfing on a Pinehurst golf resort his whole life, one shouldn’t expect him to always put forth stellar performances that will command a first-place victory at one of the world’s most competitive golf tournaments.

Similarly, since his return to the sport, Woods has been suffering from a serious accuracy problem, which some contend is the number one stat he needs to address, if he’s to have any success at the forthcoming US Open.

Provided he’s given ample time to shake off the rust that’s been accumulating in his absence from the green, however, Tiger Woods will likely put on a show worth watching, and could yet steal the US Open right out from under an unsuspecting audience.

As one of golf’s greatest names, Woods has already cemented his legacy as one of the greatest athletes of the contemporary era, and shouldn’t be discounted after a few bouts of surgery.

Keep your eye on Tiger Woods as he approaches the forthcoming US Open; the champ has tasted victory plenty of times before, and will likely enter the competition hungry for another title.

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