5 Reasons Why Tiger Woods Will Win a Major in 2017
The Tiger Woods “return to greatness” tour hit another snag this week, as the living golf legend was forced to bow out of the 2017 Genesis Open due to ongoing back spasms.
In fact, Woods had it so bad with his problematic back, that he even skipped his own press conference, reportedly under “doctor’s orders”:
— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) February 15, 2017
That could potentially be a big sign as to just how bad Woods’ health is at the moment, especially considering his own foundation (Tiger Woods Foundation) was running the event this year.
Tiger Woods not being able to compete because of a back flair up is fairly understandable. He’s had back issues for years and a surgery back in 2014 took over a year for him to feel confident in returning from.
That return hasn’t gone quite as planned, however. Woods wasn’t amazing at the Hero Challenge back in December, he failed to make the cut for the Farmers Insurance Open last month and then he withdrew from the Dubai Desert Classic.
Now Woods backed out of the Genesis Open and we’re left to wonder if this is just another minor roadblock in an epic comeback for the 41-year old, or if it’s truly the beginning of the end.
It’s a sobering moment for Woods, but really for everyone in the PGA Tour realm, as well. While that may be true, there is still plenty of optimism to be had. Let’s run through five reasons why Woods won’t just make it back again this year – but will win a Major:
Vegas Won’t Quit Him
What’s in a name? Just ask Vegas, as the oddsmakers continue to throw support behind one of the greatest golfers we’ve ever seen.
It’s possibly oddsmakers are just protecting themselves from an elite talent nursing his way back to full strength and ultimately dominant play again, but the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook currently has him tied for the 25th best odds to win a Major during the 2017 PGA Tour season.
Woods was reportedly listed with 10-1 odds prior to bowing out of the Dubai Desert Classic, but that and his latest run-in with back problems have his odds settling in at 20-1.
Jeff Sherman, assistant manager at the Westgate SuperBook, suggested the favorable odds behind Woods will aways be there because of who Woods is. Per Sherman, Woods will “always command betting support” due to his name, talent and past accomplishments.
Maybe that’s all it is, but it often feels like Vegas is smarter than just looking at big names. If Vegas continues to give Tiger Woods a fighting chance, it could provide insight to a potential return to prominence. If that happens, you won’t be able to say that Vegas didn’t see it coming.
He’s Only 41
Health and age roll into one category for us, as Woods has surely had difficult getting and staying healthy over the past few years, but his rough patch has to end at some point.
Back woes are often the worst type of health ailment, as it can impact how you sleep, sit, walk and of course for Woods, it can dramatically limit and impact how you play a sport.
Golf is certainly taxing on the back and legs. You’re constantly swinging your arms and twisting your back, while long stays on the green keep you on your feet, whether you’re getting ready for a shot or simply walking from spot A to spot B.
Regardless, Tiger Woods isn’t 60 or even 50. He should still be very much in his physical prime – especially for golf – and by all accounts, takes terrific care of his body and sees himself (and prepares as) a true athlete.
All of that is part of what made Woods so great for so long, and if he can simply put his back problems behind him, there is a very real chance he could enjoy another stellar run for the next decade.
Age is just a number. Sure, several of the best golfers right now aren’t even 30 and the field has gotten rowdier over the last few years, but Tiger Woods being healthy and confident isn’t something the field is truly going to want to see.
He’s Still Tiger Woods
That’s the other side of it. Vegas can’t quite Woods because of who he is and what he’s done, and that’s the same reason fans can’t let him go. That’s also why the PGA Tour wants him to flourish and why all of the top competition is afraid of this guy getting healthy and confident again.
Tiger Woods hasn’t won a Major since 2008, but if he can get healthy and get back to being Tiger Woods again, 2017 could be the year he snaps the drought.
The drought has truly lasted quite some time, too. Ever since Tiger Woods was exposed as a serial cheater back in 2013, his career has unraveled. He wasn’t the same, injuries struck and we saw less and less of one of golf’s biggest stars.
While there’s no denying something changed when we all learned who the real Tiger Woods was, he’s undergone a transformation in the last three years and may finally be mentally ready to reclaim his spot atop the PGA Tour. His health just needs to agree with his determination, first.
Another obvious angle is the sheer allure of Tiger Woods storming back from scandal, poor play and injury to stand atop the PGA Tour realm, once more.
The only way to really do that is to go out and win a Major (or two) and prove that Tiger Woods is still Tiger Woods at age 41 and that there is still a lot of gold left to be played.
That would be an amazing story for sports, for golf and for the legacy of a man that really got this thing started at age 20 and despite all the time and golf we’ve seen since, doesn’t seem quite done.
Tiger Woods loves the game of golf. In a lot of ways he is golf. If he can overcome his latest setback and get back into the swing of things, there’s still a chance that old fire will lead to a win here or there and he can set himself up for a dramatic run at one of the big Major Championships. True golf fans will be crossing their fingers for it to happen, at least.
You can look at all of these reasons why Tiger Woods will win another Major, but the biggest one could be that he’s flat out due for one. The guy hasn’t had a win of any kind since 2013, was clearly rattled by his cheating scandal and has had a litany of health issues.
We get all that. But this is still the same person who became the youngest golfer in history to complete a Grand Slam, won 14 Majors and nailed down 79 career PGA Tour wins.
He was a dominant, elite, incomprehensible force.
Things changed and suddenly Tiger Woods wasn’t amazing. He wasn’t invincible. And to put it bluntly, he just wasn’t Tiger Woods.
It does feel like he’s slowly been working his way back to being that guy, though, and his return last December at least made you think there’s a chance he has something left.
Woods hit another snag this week and there is cause for concern, but he still has plenty of time to prove his doubters wrong and add more hardware to his impressive career. That could come in 2017, and if Woods can take care of his body and ready his game for the long haul, we think it will.
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