Tiger Woods withdrew from the Players Championship because of a pain in his neck. No reports ever surfaced before or during the tournament of any physical problems he may have had, and when asked previously about any problems, he stated that he was "100 percent OK."
I think what we are seeing is the door slamming on Tiger and not just hitting him in the neck. I was taught as a young man that a person creates his own destiny. Although Tiger was once on top of the world, he now is the "boy in the bubble." He has bottled himself up and is struggling with his psyche to try to restructure what appears to be a doomed career as a professional golfer. Mental control has kept him the No. 1 golfer in the world for a long time. That control is no longer visible. Will he ever reclaim it? Not until his wife, Elin, has long gone and he has accepted it. Not until he stops taking himself so seriously that he is better than any other player on the tour and starts playing golf as their equal. He stated previously that he only enters tournaments to win them. If he doesn't, he deems himself a failure. He should "try" to win them like the other players, and if he doesn't, there is always another tournament. No matter how good you are at whatever you do, there is always room for improvement in both mind and body.
We all know that Tiger has enhanced the quality of the PGA tour with extended money purses and media exposure. He was a much needed sports hero while our country is at war and with our struggling economy. So if he wants to be alone, let him be alone. He doesn't want to sign autographs, he doesn't want to high-five the fans, he is who he is. So let him stay in the bubble and come out when his mind and body are working well. There are other players on the PGA tour that are exciting. Let's give them a chance and embrace them as they play for us each week. And let us not pick out one player as a dominant hero, if you will, but the entire PGA tour that has contributed millions of dollars to charity.
The writer lives in Conway.
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