Grouchy Golf Blog

Saturday, June 21, 2008 at 8:42 AM

Tigers are Tough, Especially the Human Kind

A couple of years ago, ESPN's Gene Wojciechowski wrote an article that included a seemingly absurd proclamation that "Tiger Woods is the greatest individual athlete of our time. OK, of all time." After Tiger's unhuman-like performance at the 2008 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines, Wojciechowski's statement might be right on the money. Winning the most difficult tournament against the world's best with a torn ACL and a double stress fracture is nothing short of miraculous. Unfortunately, recovering from that injury will cost Woods the rest of the season. It seems that Wojciechowski might be the Carnac the Magnificent of golf with his prescient statement: "Only injury stands between Woods and any record worth owning."

But there are always haters out there who will try to bring you down. Surprisingly, the sharpest barb came from the usually docile Retief Goosen, himself a two-time US Open champion. When asked whether he believed that Woods was faking the extent of his pain, he said: “I think so. It just seemed that when he hit a bad shot his knee was in pain and on his good shots he wasn’t in pain. You see when he made the putts and he went down on his knees and was shouting, ‘Yeah’, his knee wasn’t sore. Nobody really knows if he was just showing off or if he was really injured. I believe if he was really injured, he would not have played.” Retief later tried to downplay his jealous-tinged remarks saying, “I was being light-hearted. No one but Tiger himself knows how badly hurt he was. But if he was really badly hurt, he would have withdrawn, wouldn’t he?”

Well Retief, maybe your wuss ass would have withdrawn, but Tiger is tough as nails. In addition, you just gave Tiger the extra motivation to crush you every time you set foot on the same course that he does. Get better soon Tiger, and when you get back it will be open season for Goose hunting. He may or may not be the greatest athlete, but Tiger Woods is the greatest competitor!