PALM HARBOR, Fla. — This might come as a shock, but Tiger Woods isn’t the only player coping with an injury.
Paul Goydos was driving to the doctor’s office Tuesday morning to have surgery on his left wrist. It has been bothering him most of his 25 years on the PGA Tour, but the pain usually goes away. This time, it didn’t. He has a bone spur that needs to be removed, and figures he’ll be out of action for some three months.
Would it hurt his feelings if this news was buried behind an update on Woods’ left Achilles tendon?
“No,” Goydos said, stifling a laugh. “It’s called the Achilles’ heel for a reason.”
Lucas Glover had to wait three months to make his PGA Tour debut. The former U.S. Open champion slipped off a paddle board along the shores of Hawaii the weekend before the season opener at Kapalua and injured knee ligaments. Glover didn’t think it was so bad at first. He thought about playing Honolulu, then the California desert, then San Diego, then Pebble Beach.
All he got was a weekly dose of disappointment each Friday afternoon when he withdrew from the next tournament, until he finally gave up on the West Coast Swing. Glover finally gets to play the Transitions Championship at Innisbrook, having recovered from the sprained medial collateral ligament and a plica tendon, along with some atrophy in his quadriceps.
But it’s all about the Achilles these days.
“I don’t feel slighted at all,” Glover said. “What is it, 14 to 1?”
Glover grinned, waiting for the numbers to make sense. That would be 14 majors for Woods, one for him.
David Toms also withdrew from the Cadillac Championship on Sunday with a back injury. No one seemed to notice. There’s a chance some people didn’t even know he was at Doral in the first place.
Instead, there was television footage of Woods in his red shirt climbing into a golf cart and being driven to the parking lot. NBC Sports was able to use the camera from the blimp for an overhead shot of Woods driving away from Doral in his black Mercedes, which didn’t thrill the folks at Cadillac who paid upward of $10 million to sponsor the tournament.
The good news for Woods is that he’s still news. As Jack Nicklaus once told him in South Africa, “Just make sure you’re part of the conversation.”
It will stay that way, especially while the golf world holds its breath to hear whether the Achilles tendon injury that forced Woods to withdraw after 11 holes on Sunday really was a mild sprain, as he said Monday night on Twitter.
Woods hopes to be hitting balls by the end of the week, and maybe even compete next week – though he didn’t make clear in 140 characters if he was talking about the silly made-for-television event called the Tavistock Cup or the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill, which would be his last event before the Masters Tournament.
Woods remains golf’s most compelling figure, whether people want to see him return to glory or continue to flounder.
No one moves the needle like him.