It has been a long road to recovery for Tiger Woods, multiple back surgeries have kept him away from the game for over a year now, and most recently, a trip to a rehabilitation centre following his drink driving arrest. Things looked to be spiralling out of control for the 14 time major winner, however a recent post to social media showed him pitching a golf ball onto a green with the caption “Dr. gave me the ok to start pitching”. The video created a lot of excitement amongst golf fans around the world, although if Tiger does return, is he likely to be able to compete against the immense talent at the top of the professional ranks?
The guys who are winning on tour are getting younger and younger; not only are they winning, but they are dominating the game and are the guys to beat week in week out. World number two Jordan Spieth is 24, number three Hideki Matsuyama is 25 and number five Jon Rahm is only 22. These names are consistently at the top of the leaderboards and have each picked up multiple titles on tour this year, including The Open Championship and The PGA Championship. There is certainly a pattern in the modern era of golf, the younger guys are just getting better and better, they are athletes, incredibly skilled, talented and definitely not afraid to go out and win. Dustin Johnson, world number one, at 33 seems like an old guy!
Tiger Woods turns 42 this December and has been unable to even touch a golf club let alone play competitively for some time now. In a sport where he once dominated, he now comes up against a wealth of hungry young athletes and the odds are most certainly in their favour. I’m sure every golf fan would love to see Tiger return and win again, however with the strength of the competition on the PGA Tour it will be very tough.
Perhaps now though, golf doesn’t need Tiger Woods, and the young talismans are already here to take his place and drive the game forwards.
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