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Tiger Woods and the question of fitness after the defeat at The Open

Tiger Woods and the question of fitness after the defeat at The Open

Reducing the schedule as much as possible, but "Super Tiger" Tiger Woods is still cut off at two major events in a row.

78 strokes in the opening round are Woods' worst numbers through The Open. The 43-year-old star admits it was difficult to play at Royal Portrush because of poor health. "I don't want to deny the pain," Woods said after ranking 144 out of 156 golfers who attended the Open round. "After a long time playing with some of the achievements, this comes in quite a way".

In an interview with the BBC after The Open, legend Jack Nicklaus suspects juniors recurring back injuries. This is a presumptuous conjecture, if you look at Woods' swing ability, grimace face and heavy form after every hole. No more "Super Tiger" image roared like at The Masters three months ago, instead it was a sign of age.

Tiger Woods once said that cutting the schedule was to focus entirely on major events - the arena where he needed four more titles to break Jack Nicklaus's record. But the opposite is happening: the less you play, the worse Woods will fall.

After raising the The Masters on April 14, Woods didn't play a single tournament for the next 33 days. He rested completely in the villa in Florida, where there was a golf course for daily practice. Woods only re-exported when the major award followed by the opening PGA Championship. This is the first year this event takes place in May.

Woods, contrary to expectations, spent two very bad golf rounds at Bethpage State Park, before being cut off with a total of +5 points. "I just won The Masters and I'm 43. So this result is not disappointing," the 81-year-old PGA Tour owner confirmed in an interview later.

Tiger Woods and the question of fitness after the defeat at The Open

Woods' excuse shows that his biggest rival is now physically. But more importantly, the way he handled the "physical crisis" was not reasonable. Woods has two weeks off in Thailand, playing only 12 rounds of golf during the summer to prepare for The Open. That meager preparation was not enough for a big event, taking place in a strange arena in extreme weather conditions.

It only made 10 appearances since the beginning of 2019, making Woods difficult to catch up again when entering key arenas. This was the first time in his career that Woods was cut off in two awards in the same year as major. This sinusoidal form is unprecedented with "Super Tiger".

Woods' performance at The Open evokes the lethargic image he showed at the Ryder Cup last year. It raises questions about Woods' fitness both in the short and long term. In the summer of 2018, after repeated poor results, Woods rushed into the tournament with great determination. It was not until September that he showed signs of "out of battery".

With 20 events in attendance, 2018 is the second year Woods has played the second most in 14 years, just inferior to the 2005 season (24 tournaments). It was a launch pad for him to be crowned at The Masters this year. But 2019 may see the "Super Tiger" exhausted sooner than expected. What happened in the last two months has shown that reducing the schedule is not the feasible approach for Woods to maintain "longevity on golf".

Compared to last year, Woods' average swing speed was down 4.6 km / h, though he was the least played star on the PGA Tour to date. Although the figure is due to changes in club design and playing techniques, it is difficult to deny the signs of aging in Woods's body.

"I can not always appear in a tournament," Woods assured fans and reporters in the face of unsafe physical concerns. However, the result in The Open is a serious warning for 15 major owners about making full use of the remaining time to earn more titles, before not having enough power to fight.