While Tiger Wood’s prominence began in the late ’90s, his impact on the sport cannot be argued. In addition to breaking cultural barriers, he’s been an icon in the golf world, collecting numerous accolades and breaking long-held records.
Recently, however, people have questioned whether Woods should keep playing. Although he still has a lot to offer the game, it’s evident that he’s no longer the athlete he once was.
Tiger Wood’s impact on the game
Tiger Woods raised the bar when it comes to the athleticism of golfers. Through his physical training routine, he added muscle mass to his frame, a practice later emulated by other PGA pros. However, Woods has also experienced multiple injuries, which set him back at times.
Tiger Woods was the first African-American in history to win the Masters Tournament. This was a big deal in a sport dominated by white men. In fact, the PGA rules specified that you had to be Caucasian to be a member until this was finally changed in 1961. The strides Woods made to win the first tournament, as well as many more, helped African Americans see that they could have a spot in the sport, too.
Injuries derail his career
In the last 10 years, Woods has had 11 notable injuries, including torn ligaments and minor back spasms. While four surgeries would be a telltale sign for someone to quit a sport, Woods was able to carry on. However, extensive surgeries are bound to catch up with anyone, especially when two of the four were back-related and occurred within the last few years. In fact, Woods withdrew from a European tour due to back pains.
Even with these injuries, the 43-year-old has proved he can compete at a high level. In fact, in 2008, Woods won the U.S. Open with an injured leg. Sure, he can try to push through all these ailments, but it would be better to call it quits. He has competed at the highest level of the sport and proved his worth. It’s tough to pinpoint anything he has left to prove.
His game has been declining
While Woods is still a force in the sport, he isn’t the same guy who first competed in 1996. In his first PGA tour, he managed to finish second to John Daly. Today, it would be borderline tough for him to reach such a great performance point.
In the last seven seasons, he’s been under the radar, with the exception of the 2013 season. During that year, he won five times, making everyone believe in his comeback. Sadly, his highly anticipated comeback was cut short by back injuries. In 2016, the remarkable athlete failed to play even a single tournament due to back injuries.
Woods will always be remembered for the many things he did to shape the sport, and he has accolades and records to prove it. The golfer can try to keep competing, but it may be time to call it quits. At the very least, the story he told through his perseverance is an inspiration to all.