July 05, 2011
It shouldn't come as a surprise that Tiger Woods announced Tuesday morning that he wouldn't be making the trip across the pond to play in the 2011 British Open. Tiger hasn't played a competitive round of golf since the front nine on Tuesday at The Players Championship in early May, and before that, the Masters.
No, what should surprise you is just how predictable this announcement was from Camp Woods, and how the golf world basically nodded "all right" in unison and kept on with their day.
Tiger missing the British was inevitable, because at his press conference a week ago, he told us he wasn't even healthy enough to start hitting full golf shots, and as we've always known with Woods, when he commits to a golf tournament, he's committing to win, and realistically, that isn't a possibility with that rust on his current golf game.
We always wondered what golf would be like when Tiger finally walked away from it (or limped, as might be more appropriate now), but we're getting a little glimpse of that now. Tiger will miss both Opens in the same year for the first time since 1994, and it will be just the second time in his career that he will miss consecutive majors, both because of injury.
It's just strange to think that just a couple of years ago, Tiger was still the best in the world and when majors came around, it was Woods or bust. Now, we look at the Open next week with a multitude of names that could take the trophy, and while some might miss Tiger in the field, it is a bit fun to see a wide-open major with anyone from Thomas Aiken to Y.E. Yang with a realistic shot at taking home the Claret Jug.
Sure, we will miss watching Tiger prowl the links of Royal St. George's, but for the second time in a row, we can honestly go into a major championship with no real clue of who has the best shot at winning, and so far, that's turned out to be a pretty successful formula (I know Mr. McIlroy would agree).