How Tiger Woods Really Injured His Left Knee

Michael FitzpatrickFeatured ColumnistMarch 20, 2012

TULSA, OK - AUGUST 12:  Tiger Woods celebrates his birdie putt on the eighth hole during the final round of the 89th PGA Championship at the Southern Hills Country Club on August 12, 2007 in Tulsa, Oklahoma.  (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
David Cannon/Getty Images

It seems like everyone has an opinion on when, how and where Tiger Woods injured his left knee.

It’s unlikely that anyone other than Woods knows exactly how he tore his ACL in his left knee, so in a way it has become a juvenile guessing game.

That being said, here’s my best guess on how Woods really injured his left knee.

Hey, if you can’t beat them, it’s always more fun to join them.

In my guesspinion, Woods did not injure his knee while out running with his dog.

He did not injure his knee training with the Navy Seals, although that story is probably a lot cooler than the one I will put forth.  

He did not injure his knee power lifting in the Isleworth weight room.

And he did not injure his knee while taking part in some “extracurricular activities,” as some have suggested.

Nope, in my guesspinion, Woods either tore or at least finished off his ACL while unleashing a first pump at the 2007 PGA Championship.

Yes, you did read that last sentence correctly. The man who brought the animated first pump into professional golf may have derailed his quest to break Jack Nicklaus' record of 18 majors by injuring himself with a fist pump.

The site of this incident was the eighth hole at Southern Hills Country Club during the final round of the 2007 PGA Championship.

As Woods' long birdie putt from the fringe of the par three wound its way towards the hole, Woods back peddled into the rough. The ball slowly disappeared into the hole, after which Woods unleashed a massive fist pump, only this first pump did not go quite as smoothly as some of his others.

Woods came down in an awkward position with his left knee landing on a backwards down slope (as seen in the picture accompanying this article).

A look of concern immediately spread across Woods and he began limping off to the side of the green.

Jim Nance and the CBS golf team even began discussing how it appeared that Woods had injured himself with the fist pump.

Woods held himself together over the final 10 holes to finish off what would be his 13th professional major that Sunday afternoon in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

“As far as hurting myself, no, all good,” Woods said when asked about whether or not he had injured himself on the eighth hole.

We didn’t know it at the time, but as we know all too well now, that reply means very little coming from Woods.

Woods has a tendency to, well, let’s just say omit the truth when it comes to disclosing injuries.

Less than eight months later he would go under the knife immediately following the 2008 Masters, and two months after that he would win the U.S. Open on a broken leg and torn ACL before undergoing reconstructive ACL surgery that put him out of action for eight months.

Woods would later say that he injured his knee while out jogging with his dog a couple of weeks after the 2007 Open Championship, which conveniently happened to be just a week before the 2007 PGA Championship.

Perhaps Woods was already playing on a left knee that was injured while training with the Navy Seals or while out running with his dog or while power lifting, and that first pump at Southern Hills just gave him a jolt of pain from an injury that was already present.

Or, perhaps that first pump was the ultimate cause of his torn ACL.

Tiger Woods is the only one who knows the true answer to that question.

But one thing is for sure, while observing Woods' play between 2007 and 2008, he never seemed to have any major issues with his left knee until after that 2007 PGA Championship.

Less than a year after we saw him limp off the eighth hole at Southern Hills, Woods underwent reconstructive ACL surgery.

This theory may sound farfetched to some, but come on, more farfetched than training with the Navy Seals?

For more golf news, insight and analysis, check out The Tour Report.


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