The phenomenon is over. A long list of injuries, mental blocks and father time have all finally caught up to one of the greatest golfers of all time.
Will we ever stop caring about Tiger Woods in a golf setting?
For the first time in his career, Woods missed the cut on back-to-back majors after shooting a 76-75 and missed the cut by seven strokes at the 144th British Open. He has never shot worse than 73 on the Old Course.
Before every big event, sports reporters ponder the of the likelihood of Woods doing the unthinkable, winning.
I have a hard time remembering people caring so much about athletes who have zero chance of success.
In pro sports, we move onto the next team and player like a new girlfriend and stop liking pictures of our exes on Instagram.
When great teams get old and get knocked off their pedestal, no one wonders expects them to climb back up when they are destined to miss the playoffs. They accept the fact that people get old, their talents diminish and can’t find a way to produce in the clutch like they used to.
We get accustomed to teams and players not winning every year because it’s not possible. You grow to accept the ups and downs of a season. Teams can bounce back easier than athletes in individual sports.
The Seattle Seahawks won’t win every year and Derek Jeter only won five titles in 20 years.
We don’t stay interested when great individual players start to fall off like sports franchises do.
The Celtics haven’t been good since they traded away Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen, but fans still stay around because of the rebuilding process.
We lose interest in the tennis player or golfer once they fall from grace and then we move onto the next biggest star. Once a player starts to slide, we rarely ever see them get back on top the world they once dominated.
Fans gave up on Andre Agassi when he fell off the face of the Earth and sank to 141 in the world tennis rankings in 1997. Many thought his career was over, but reclaimed the No. 1 seed in 1999 with victories in the French and U.S. Open, and made the final at Wimbledon.
The jury is still out on whether or not Eugenie Bouchard was a splash in the pan or has sustainable talent.
It hasn’t been the greatest season for the newest Canadian tennis hero Bouchard.
In 2014, she was named WTA Most Improved Player after reaching the semis in the French and a Wimbledon Final. She ended the season as the No. 7 ranked player in the world.
This year she is 8-14 and still searching for her first title. She got bounced from the Australian Open in the quarters by Maria Sharapova and racked up a pair of first-round exits in the French and Wimbledon.
She is still only 21 years old and working to find a groove with her new coach from the start of the season.
Woods has shown no signs of life lately. Yeah, he won five tour stops in 2013, but that was two years ago. He hasn’t sniffed a top-10 finish in the last eight majors (he did not play in the 2014 Masters or U.S. Open).
When a player’s career fall apart, we should stop counting on them to produce on the big stage. Woods is the only player who we watch every stroke after his game has abandoned him.
It’s beginning to feel like people would rather watch Woods shoot 85, throw his clubs and yell at himself, rather than watch Jordan Speith shoot a 68.
It’s because of the legacy he carried. He was the most dominant athlete of the 2000s. It’s a guilty pleasure to watch him play, like it was to watch Jersey Shore or the Real Housewives of Orange County.
I’ve thrown in the towel a while ago on whether or not he can bounce back. There hasn’t been a shred of evidence to prove that he can, but he still draws ratings whenever he is on.
It’s not fun to watch our heroes in the decline. I hated watching Curtis Joseph get traded from team to team, only to serve as the backup goalie. It’s not how I wanted to remember my childhood hero end such a successful career.
Woods isn’t in the decline, the decline days are miles behind him.
I get the die-hard Woods fans that hang follow him because of nostalgia. But it’s everyone else that is hoping he can pull out one more magical tournament for old-times sake. What’s the point?
Mike Weir won the 2003 Masters and the story of the year in Canada. The next few years he was extremely competitive in major tournaments, with seven top-10 finishes in the next 15 majors.
Once he started his decline in 2006, he didn’t headline SportsCentre, or was even mentioned in Canadian golf segments.
Woods hasn’t won a major championship since I was in high school, 2008, and he is still brought up before the names of Rory McIlroy, Rickie Fowler, Dustin Johnson or Speith.
Tony Kornheiser said it best on his show, Pardon The Interruption earlier this year when he said that Woods needed to start wearing his red shirts on Thursday because he can’t even make it to Sundays anymore.
It wasn’t the same when Michael Jordan came out of retirement for the second time and played for the Washington Wizards for two years.
We still watched Jordan because he was productive. He was an all-star in 2003 and averaged 20.0 points, 6.1 rebounds and 3.8 assists. He scored 43 points at the age of 40. The Wizards finished in ninth at 37-45 and five games out of the playoffs. He gave us flashes of what he used to be, but couldn’t string anything that resembled his previous incarnations with the Chicago Bulls.
It wasn’t a successful return, but it wasn’t a train wreck either.
Woods still is and always will be a draw for events. Crowds will follow him around like magnets.
Unfortunately, Woods will never lose his PGA Tour Card. Any player with more than 20 Tour wins cannot lose his card and Woods has 79.
The dream is over for Woods. It’s that simple.
Woods never used to have excuses for his poor performances. Nothing else used to matter to him other than golf.
He played the entire 2008 U.S. Open on a bum left knee. He ended up beating Rocco Nicklaus on a first-hole playoff with a torn anterior cruciate ligament and two hairline fractures in his left tibia.
Most people can’t even get out of a chair with those aliments. He played 73 holes of golf. Woods later missed the rest of the season for knee surgery.
Nobody would have blamed him for backing out with an injury of that severity.
Now, Woods has deactivated glutes, mental problems, several different coaches and injuries that he claims are holding him back.
Woods used to be like the Indominus Rex from Jurassic World. He was smarter, tougher, better than any other golfer. He was the alpha male.
It’s time to give it up and stop wondering if he can ever turn back the clock one more time for our own enjoyment.
It’s great to relive some of his greatest moments, but we need to move on as a sports community. There are plenty of new golfers out there with potential and great stories. It’s time to celebrate the new age of golf.
The longer he keeps failing on the links, the more distorted the memory we might have of one of the greatest athletic careers the world has ever witnessed.