x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

The world waits on Tiger Woods

He remains golf's most compelling figure, whether people want to see him return to glory or continue to flounder.

Tiger Woods was forced to withdraw from the Caddilac Championship injured. Andrew Innerarity / Reuters
Tiger Woods was forced to withdraw from the Caddilac Championship injured. Andrew Innerarity / Reuters

This might come as a shock, but Tiger Woods is not the only professional golfer coping with an injury.

Paul Goydos was driving to the doctor's office this week 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 expects to be out for three months.

Would it hurt his feelings if this news was buried behind updates on Woods's left Achilles tendon?

"No," Goydos said, stifling a laugh. "It's called the Achilles heel for a reason."

Lucas Glover, a former US Open champion, slipped off a paddle board in Hawaii the weekend before the season opener and injured knee ligaments. Glover did not think it was 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, until he finally gave up on the West Coast swing. He will play for the first time this season at the Transitions Championship at Innisbrook, Florida, having recovered from the sprained medial collateral ligament and a plica tendon, along with some atrophy in his quadriceps.

But it is all about the Achilles these days.

"I don't feel slighted at all," Glover said with a grin. "What is it, 14 to 1?"

That would be 14 majors for Woods, one for Glover.

David Toms also withdrew from the Cadillac Championship last week with a back injury. No one seemed to notice.

All the focus is on Woods, as the golf world holds its breath to hear whether the Achilles tendon injury that forced Woods to withdraw after 11 holes of the final round on Sunday really was just a mild sprain, as he said later on Twitter.

Woods hopes to be hitting balls by the end of this week, and maybe even compete next week as he prepares for the Masters on April 5-8.

He remains golf's most compelling figure, whether people want to see him return to glory or continue to flounder.

And it probably will stay that way until he retires. Goydos said as much four years ago in Hawaii, when asked when Woods no longer would be considered golf's top attraction.

"When Tiger decides he's not going to play golf," he said.