Truth & Rumors: Will Tiger rule the game again?

February 10, 2012

The golf world has been wondering for a couple of years now whether or not Tiger will ever regain his dominance, and for good reason. When Tiger's in the field TV ratings are often close to 50 percent higher than when he's not. There's arguably never been a golfer, let alone any professional athlete, that's captivated the general public's attention like Eldrick. If he fades away to journeyman status the game of golf and the many businesses that surround it will suffer. If he can reproduce some of his former glory everyone around the game, including the fans, will benefit greatly. So will he or won't he? According to USA Today, opinions vary: 

"I honestly don't think there is a reason why he won't get back to No. 1 and being the best again," says Keegan Bradley, reigning PGA Championship winner and 2011 PGA Tour rookie of the year. "He's going to find a way."
"I don't know if he will rule the roost anymore," Dustin Johnson says. "He has struggled, but he's been injured. And he's had a few incidents that have thrown him for a loop. But I think he has everything back on track. He will be a force, I'm sure. He is one guy you are going to have to beat out here. But there are a lot of other guys you're going to have to beat, as well."

Interesting that two young PGA Tour superstars have such different opinions, but together they represent what most golf fans probably think — "Tiger's healthy again and will do what he's always done," or, "Tiger's going to get some more wins but he'll never dominate again." Delving further into the debate, Steve DiMeglio of USA Today offers nine reasons why Tiger will or won't be king. The No. 1 question? Injuries, of course. 

1. Insult to injuries PRO: "I've been able to train again," Woods says. "Rehabbing and training are two totally different scenarios. I've been rehabbing pretty much the entire last couple of years. Now I'm healthy enough to train without issue. My body's feeling explosive again. … I can literally train all day now."
CON: His left knee. Dating to 1994, when he had two benign tumors removed and scar tissues repaired, he's had four operations on his knee, including a major reconstruction in 2008 after he won the U.S. Open. "That's the only worry," CBS golf analyst David Feherty says. " For a right-handed player, there is probably no such worse problem you can have. Your frame has to absorb that shock of the swing, and all the energy dissipates into the left knee area."

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