Tiger Woods continues to battle the injury bug. For the sixth straight year, one of the best golfers in the history of the game will miss time thanks to an ailment. This time, an elbow strain suffered at the U.S. Open last week is the culprit. “I was examined after I returned home from the US Open, and the doctors determined I have a left elbow strain,” Woods said in a statement. He will rest the elbow until the British Open next month.
The layoff will force Woods to miss the event that he hosts, the AT&T National, which takes place next week. Reports are that he had some mild discomfort in the elbow dating back as far as the PLAYERS Championship and he injured it battling the thick, unruly rough at Merion Golf Club during the U.S. Open. He certainly played out of that rough enough to make a legitimate case that some damage could have been done to the elbow last week. He was in visible pain after hitting more than a handful of shots chasing his next major championship.
While Woods likely does not want to miss any time, he is making the correct decision. At 37 years of age, Woods is no spring chicken and as the body gets older it takes longer to bounce back. Add in the fact that he has a long history of battling injuries and it’s essentially a no-brainer for him to take time off until he thinks he’s ready to play.
The big issue for Woods will be getting back into “playing shape” for the Open Championship after such an extended hiatus. It’s no easy feat to win any tournament, let alone a major championship and Woods will almost assuredly have some rust to shake off. Practicing is much different than playing competitive golf. But if anyone can do it, my money would be on Woods being able to pull off the unlikely win.