Interesting sidenote from Jack Nicklaus’ interview with the ink-stained scribes at the Memorial yesterday. Could it be that Tiger’s knee does what no one else has been able to do — stop him?
Mark Soltau has the scoop on Golf Digest:
Nicklaus found out last Friday that top-ranked Tiger Woods would be skipping the tournament to recover from knee surgery.
“Mark Steinberg [Woods’ agent] called me the day after he had his knee surgery [April 15] and said Tiger’s goal was to be back for the Memorial Tournament,” said Nicklaus. “He called two or three times last week and said Tiger’s plans were to get here Friday. I mean, they sent a check for renting a house and everything else. He was ready to come.
“But then Mark called back and said he went out and tried to play Thursday and couldn’t. He said he couldn’t put the weight on his knee, couldn’t turn it.”
Of course this could be Tiger’s camp exaggerating the situation to make his competitors feel safe, or the knee could really be a bigger problem than anyone knows. The inability to put weight on it and to turn through the ball would lead to erratic play at best, especially since Tiger hasn’t played in more than a month and will be making his first appearance at the U.S. Open. Sure he plays especially well at the course, but a bum knee isn’t going to help his cause.
Or you could see this as the equalizer that brings Tiger down to the level of his competitors…