As the most prolific golfer of a generation, Tiger Woods is continually in the sporting limelight and once again it is of course issues that are filling column inches once more.
The 15-time Major winner was injured in a high-speed car crash in Los Angeles early on Tuesday morning and the ramifications of the collision are yet to be fully known. Woods has had surgery on a fractured leg and shattered ankle, with images of the crash circling in internet at breakneck speed and fuelling speculation as to what Woods will do next.
Transforming his body was as important to Tiger Woods as revolutionising world golf and his fitness regime and dedication to the cause has been a blueprint for golfers the world over. A consequence of increased stress on the body for Woods however has been his tendency to pick up injuries throughout his career.
Multiple surgeries have curtailed Woods’s career at certain points and his spinal fusion treatment threatened to prevent Woods from ever playing the game professionally again. In the immediate aftermath of the crash, it became apparent that Woods had broken both his tibia and fibula bones as well as shattered his ankle and question marks will be raised as to whether his body can take another beating.
With 110 professional tournament wins to his name, Tiger Woods has been a golfing pioneer for over 20 years and his stock as a famous athlete is as strong today as it ever has been. Away from the course however, Woods has been embroiled in a series of incidents that have damaged both his public image and in turn, have influenced his golfing performance too.
This is not the first car crash Woods has endured, with his infamous incident in 2009 being the catalyst to his marriage breaking down and his numerous infidelities becoming public knowledge. Woods failed to resurrect his form on the course subsequently, with further misdemeanours for driving under the influence of pain-killers coming in 2017. Woods will be eager that this latest hiccup has no impact on his golfing performance.
After picking up his 14th major title at the US Open in 2008, very few people would have envisaged Woods having only added one more major title in the subsequent 13 years. Despite playing some sublime golf over the last decade, Woods’s only major win came at the Masters in 2019 and he currently looks to be some distance from dining at golf’s top table once more.
Jack Nicklaus holds the record for most majors won with 18 and whilst Woods certainly isn’t out of the running, he will need to recover both his golfing form and physical fitness quickly to overcome Nicklaus’s haul. However, it manifests, be sure that the golfing world will be watching with great interest as few subjects are as fascinating as Tiger Woods.