38-year old Tiger Woods was looking for a good start to the 2014 PGA season, but his ailing back began barking to the point that he had to withdraw from the Honda Classic this past weekend. After being the PGA’s Player of the Year in 2013, Woods was looking for a vintage showing in 2014. For his illustrious professional career Woods has won 14 Major Championships, but none since the 2008 U.S. Open. Woods is suffering from the same back problems that hindered him down the stretch of the 2013 PGA season and the problem appears that it will once again be persistent in 2014.
Woods is scheduled to participate in this weekend’s World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship in Miami, Florida, but it appears that it will be a touch go situation. Woods will seek out as much treatment as possible leading up to this weekend, but he may need to take a page from some veteran NBA players.
In the NBA, some veteran players tend to take the second night off of back-to-back games in order to preserve their bodies for the playoffs. More than likely Woods will need to pace himself a little bit differently this season in the effort of preserving his ailing back for the major tournaments. Woods not only owes it to himself, but to his legion of fans as well to make sure that he is as close to 100 percent as possible. It might not be that cut and dry due to the fact of the money that is on the table for Woods between tournament appearances and his sponsorship deals.
Right now Woods is not the player that we saw dominate the PGA Tour in his 20’s or even the player that entered this season as the world’s top-ranked golfer. What Woods must do now is he must attempt to reinvent his game. More than ever Woods must rely on the elements and his veteran savvy at every single course possible. However the bothersome back is going to hinder Woods’ powerful stroke and once you factor that in with the mounting injuries that he has suffered in the past few years, things just became that much tougher for him.
The 79 career victories on the PGA Tour by Woods are second all-time to Sam Snead’s 82. Woods is so close to passing Snead, yet he could be very far as he will need to approach this back injury with the kid gloves. Woods avoided back surgery last year, but he may not have a choice in avoiding the surgical knife after the 2014 PGA season ends if his performance suffers too much. Tiger is crafty and he will have to grit his way through the pain in 2014.