A physical therapist friend checked in with me today when she heard of Tiger Woods withdrawing from the Bridgestone Invitation due to back pain. Her two-word message: “Loser’s Limp.”
That’s a real phenomenon in sports psychology: a real or imagined injury that makes losing a self-fulfilling prophecy. Is Tiger suffering from it? More importantly: is his career over? Woods has played in three tournaments since undergoing back surgery in late March, and all have been duds. He missed the cut at the Quicken Loans National in June; finished in 69th place at the British Open in July (6-over) and he withdrew today after 8 holes (he was 4-over).
Woods hit his tee shot on the ninth hole of the Akron course and walked off in apparent pain, saying he had “jarred it.” It wasn’t immediately clear whether it was the same area of his back that forced him to have surgery, but the problem began on the second hole.
“It’s just the whole lower back,” Woods, who was three-over for the day and four-over for the tournament, told a PGA Tour officials and reporters. He headed for his car, where he removed his shoes and couldn’t tie his sneakers. “I don’t know what happened when I landed [on the shot on No. 2].”
At the very least it’s evident that he tried to come back too soon. And his back may be screwed up, but one can’t disregard this stat: no wins in a major since his 2009 SUV accident, when the mistress scandal hit.
God, Tiger’s shenanigans are even anemic: