If you’ve ever had a lower back injury, you’ll realize that it renders you somewhat paralyzed – even if you still have feeling in your legs and hips.
Tiger Woods has suffered with back problems and had back surgery before, but it seems as if his back isn’t quite ready to return to the game he loves.
On Sunday, Tiger Woods was playing in the final round of the Bridgestone Invitational when he took a swing that put pressure on his left leg, which somehow turned into Tiger Woods falling on his back. Woods was hitting his second shot in a somewhat awkward position, seeing that the shot right before it was near a bunker in the grass. When taking the all-important shot to get the ball out of the bunker grass, Woods fell into the bunker instead – right on his back.
Along with a bad back, Tiger Woods faced a bad day overall. First, the pouring rain caused the game to be suspended for some time. Then, he had to wait 75 minutes before taking an opening shot. When you have a bad lower back, the last thing it needs to do is stiffen and stand still. It’s similar to athletes who have a sore or stiff joint: in many cases, the little exercises that can be done up to play time may likely improve the athlete’s chance of play. With 75 minutes to do nothing, the lower back easily gets stiff. Even something like sitting down for 75 minutes can be difficult for a lower back muscle that can’t run on muscle relaxants because they tend to put players and athletes to sleep.
After the injury, things seemed to get worse. Tiger Woods continued to struggle on the course, so much so that it was in his par-4 ninth shot that he called for the cart to come get him. At that point, he held his right buttocks as he struggled to get in the cart, but he didn’t try to tie his tennis shoes after taking off his golf shoes. Reigning Masters champion Bubba Watson noted the unusual nature of Tiger Woods’s strokes at the Bridgestone Invitational: “He hit some shots that we’re not used to seeing Tiger hit even when he’s coming back from an injury like this, so obviously something was bothering him.”
All in all, Tiger Woods put forth a “tiger” of an effort, but the day (and his back) didn’t comply. The future is uncertain, but what we do know is that Tiger Woods loves golf too much to stay away for too long.