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Is Tiger Woods’s Absence At The U.S. Open Actually A Good Thing?

Submitted by on June 17, 2011 – 11:45 am6 Comments

When the 111th U.S. Open golf championship teed off at the Congressional Country Club in Maryland yesterday morning, Tiger Woods was resting at home in Florida. Not exactly the ideal place for the guy who was once the best golfer in the world to be. But thanks to a lingering knee injury, Tiger is taking some time off to try and get his game back together. And with zero major victories since returning from the scandal that shook his world, it’s probably for the best.

On Wednesday, Tiger took to his Twitter account and dropped a gem on the world: “Last time I missed a USGA event,” he tweeted, “Salt N Peppa was still cool and Whitehead [Ed. Note: Michael Whitehead replaced Tiger at the Open.] was a toddler.” Think about that for a second. The last time Tiger Woods missed a major event, Salt-N-freakin’-Pepa were still cool! And not for a VH1 reality show, either.

That bit of information tells us two things: One, Tiger Woods is no spring chicken anymore. And, two, Tiger Woods must really be hurting right now. After doing his best to get himself together last year and returning this year with a vengeance to nearly win the Masters in Augusuta, Ga. back in April, Tiger has been struggling to improve because of the situation with his knee. As a result, he hasn’t played very good golf and he’s basically just been living off his reputation on the course without giving us much reason to think that he might be able to return to greatness one day.

It’s one reason we were actually glad to see him take a knee—pun fully intended—a week before the U.S. Open when he revealed that he had no plans to play in the tournament this weekend. “Not playing in US Open,” he tweeted. “Very disappointed. Short-tern frustration for long-term gain.” And that’s exactly what we’re hoping for.

At the end of the day, let’s face it: Tiger had little to no shot of winning the U.S. Open this year anyway. If he was somehow able to keep himself in contention, there’s a good chance his knee could have flared up again and made it difficult for him to play. And if he played through that pain, he could have done even more damage to it and put himself at risk moving forward. It also would have been extremely difficult if he did all that and then ended up losing the tournament anyway.

What Tiger needs to be doing now is rehabbing his knee. We’re sure he wants to be out there and there’s no one in the world who wants to see Tiger get a victory more right now than Tiger. It would relieve a whole lot of pressure, get him back into the game mentally, and put him back on pace to best Jack Nicklaus‘s mark for total major victories. But in order to do that, he needs to be healthy and he needs to know that he can play pain-free from now on.

If that means that he needs to sit out the U.S. Open., then so be it. If that means we have to sacrifice seeing him for a weekend, we’ll live. If that means we all have to pull out our “Shoop” tapes and play a little Salt-N-Pepa in his honor, we’ll do it. All we ask is that he gets his knee healthy again and gets back on the course soon.

There’s a legitimate chance that one of the biggest and most important athletes of our era could be on the final leg of his career—another pun fully intended!—if he doesn’t start being proactive about taking care of his body. And if that were to happen, we would all miss out on witnessing history. So let’s let him be so that we don’t miss that opportunity.

By sitting out this weekend’s U.S. Open, Tiger Woods is the biggest winner of all. Trust us: Whether you like it or not, this is for the best. Because, as they say, there’s always next year…

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