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This can be argued in any number of ways. On the one hand, his back-to-back 74s have that loser stink. Woods never had his game together. Why he teed off at Valhalla Golf Club is anyone’s guess.
The gains he made in his rehab to get to this point defied everybody’s expectations. That was a major step forward. Coming back as early as he did? Four steps back. We can get into hypotheticals as to how strong he’d be had he just sat out the rest of the year and built his game up in secret, but that’s silly. It appears he’ll have plenty of time now.
Instead he missed the cut in the Quicken Loans. He made the cut at The Open Championship and followed his driver on a tour of Royal Liverpool you usually have to pay a premium for. He then withdrew from the final round at the Bridgestone Invitational with back spasms.
The PGA Championship was no better. He had just three birdies in his two rounds and battled back spasms for 12 holes on Friday. He drew the ire of his former coach Butch Harmon, a man who thought Woods should have withdrawn.
"In all honesty, I was really upset with him for playing the back nine, for want of a better word,” Harmon said in a Sky Sports video (via Will Gray of Golf Channel).
Ian O’Connor, an ESPN.com columnist and radio host, wrote,
Playing hurt? Rubbing some dirt on it? Hey, it's the American way. But as it turned out, Woods had no business competing in a major this week. He said the back spasms that caused him to withdraw at Firestone on Sunday had settled, and that they had nothing to do with the back injury that caused him to undergo significant surgery March 31.
If anything, the play of Phil Mickelson, Steve Stricker, Jim Furyk, Kenny Perry and Vijay Singh should give Woods hope that he can still win tournaments into his 40s. It all comes down to health and letting the body heal. Thirty-eight isn’t 28.
Every time you sharpen the pencil, it gets shorter and shorter. Woods is grinding close to a nub, but he can still write. He just needs to take the time, and now he has all the time he should need.
Please, Tom Watson, do not invite this guy to play on the Ryder Cup team. Do him a favor.