x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Darkness is slowly falling on the once colourful Tiger Woods

Nobody sells tickets or draws eyes like former world No 1 Tiger Woods, who is settling into four months of self-imposed exile as he tries to recover from back surgery and another winless season, writes Steve Elling.

Tiger Woods removed himself from consideration for the Ryder Cup team Wednesday evening, Aug. 13, 2014 with a clear message that he is not healthy enough to play. AP Photo/John Locher
Tiger Woods removed himself from consideration for the Ryder Cup team Wednesday evening, Aug. 13, 2014 with a clear message that he is not healthy enough to play. AP Photo/John Locher

John Steinbeck never wrote about a summer of discontent, although tomes and troves of colourful content have been authored by analysts and amateurs alike regarding the lost season of golf’s bestselling figure.

Nobody sells tickets or draws eyes like former world No 1 Tiger Woods, who is settling into four months of self-imposed exile as he tries to recover from back surgery and another winless season. His PGA Tour earnings this season stand at US$122,598 (Dh450,000), which sounds like a figure ascribed to a mini-tour player, not a 14-time major ­winner.

Read more: Tiger Woods finally made the right decision and fans should exhale in relief

Woods next plans to play in the World Challenge in mid-December, an unofficial event staged at his former home course in Florida. Just as well, since he is ineligible to play in the FedEx Cup series, which begins today.

Even as he struggled through a 30-month victory drought following his sex scandal, the former world No 1 rarely seemed more lost.

His time-out, forced by medical circumstance or otherwise, seems prudent.

His game in disarray, Woods has become a wordsmith who no longer can find the keyboard, much less construct a paragraph.

“I think Tiger needs to be more visual and he has to be less technical,” ESPN analyst Paul Azinger said.

“He’s gone from the artist to the engineer. It’s hard to watch a Vincent van Gogh try to paint by numbers.”

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