Dan Daly: Woods’ forbidden apple pays off
At the end, we Washingtonians, among the most supportive fans in golf, were left to wonder the following:
Does this mean we won’t get to see Tiger play in his Fourth of July tournament at Congressional, the AT&T; National?
Does this mean his left knee needs more time to recover - not only from the operation but also from abuse it took at the Open?
The answer to both questions is probably yes (if you read between the lines of Woods’ noncommittal responses).
And if so, then woe is us … but only temporarily. Tiger’s still a young man, just 32 in Earth years. We’ll get to watch him - in the flesh - plenty, presumably, before he’s through.
Here’s another question to ponder, though: Might Woods, the spokesman for laser eye surgery, eventually become the spokesman for knee replacements, too? Might he become the golf version of Bo Jackson, who roamed major league outfields with an artificial hip?
This is the third time he’s had his left knee repaired, and I’m hard-pressed to name another golfer - a top-flight one - who’s had the knee issues he’s had. Back problems are fairly common, and shoulder injuries come up from time to time. But three surgeries on the same knee … by the age of 32? (And none of them, moreover, stems from a pre-existing condition, such as an old football hurt. These are cartilage tears caused by the way Tiger wields a club.)
Of course, if anybody could play championship golf on a titanium knee, Woods could. Just as if anybody could win the U.S. Open on one leg, he could. But it’s not a thought you want to entertain, not with Tiger entering what could be his best years (as they were for Jack Nicklaus). You’d rather he became the spokesman for, oh, the Apple Growers of America. So far, though, an apple a day hasn’t kept the orthopedist away.