Tiger Needs a Break, So Does Golf
After back-t0-back disappointing tournaments, including the worst round of his career, Tiger Woods is stepping away from golf to nurse a back injury and work on his game.
"My play, and scores, are not acceptable for tournament golf," Woods wrote in a statement on his website. "I enter a tournament to compete at the highest level, and when I think I'm ready, I'll be back."
Let's thank Woods for saving us all from the tiresome conversations that fill the airwaves during tournament weekends: Wondering which Tiger will show up to play, reports on his latest injury, then the inevitable "will he or won't he" debate on whether Woods can break Jack Nicklaus's record of 18 major titles. For the most part, all that buildup quickly dissipates in lackluster play and anti-climactic headlines from a golf press that doesn't really want to think about life after Tiger.
To fill the void from talking about Woods' present, pundits are of course oversaturating the market with speculation on his future. The trendy take in golf right now has shifted to whether his struggles are a sign that he should just retire. It's not unlike the conversation around Kobe Bryant, another larger-than-life figure who's starting to see time (and the competition) catch up with him. Both players have been such fixtures in headlines and in our collective sports consciousness that it's difficult to fathom where we should focus our attention once they're gone. (There are some ideas.)
But with the Masters coming up in April, this decision means Woods has spared himself and the rest of us from a bunch of noise around tournaments that don't really matter to his legacy. "He looks to peak four times a year," Woods's agent, Mark Steinberg, said of his client's prioritizing the majors.
Limiting the chatter to four times a year would be a welcome change. Woods wrote that it's "not fair to anyone" for him to compete "unless my game is tournament-ready." It's similarly not fair for the rest of us to keep talking about him until he gives us a reason to do so.
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