Tiger’s lay-off will be good for the sport, says O’Meara - Golf - Sport - The Independent

Tiger’s lay-off will be good for the sport, says O’Meara

A good thing for the game, the worst news possible. Out for three months, out for a year, possibly longer. Will never be the same again, will be better than ever...

Yes, golf was still in a state of shock yesterday at the news that Tiger Woods will be sidelined for the rest of the season as he undergoes radical knee surgery and therefore it was rather inevitable that the reaction would be confused and contradictory.



Mark O’Meara, for instances, thinks Woods’s absence will benefit golf, which might seem a little strange coming from Tiger’s best friend. "As big as he is, the game is even bigger," said O'Meara. "The [American] Tour will survive. I think it will be good for the game."



That was in direct contrast to Arnold Palmer‘s words of despair. “This could have a dramatic effect on the game,” said the King. “In fact, I’m not sure the game will be able to handle it. The sooner he is back the better.”



So when will this be? One surgeon, Simon Moyes, believes that after the reconstruction on his anterior cruciate ligaments he could be back on the course by September, before the Ryder Cup even. “Once he has had his operation, I would expect him to be out of action for three months."



This was an entirely different prognosis to that of Dr Jim Bradley, the team physician for the Pittsburgh Steelers. He said: “In pro football, we say we get a guy back from ACL reconstruction in six months, but in fact, they're really not right until they go through a full season. It's almost a year's time before they're back to where they were beforehand."



Meanwhile, Dr Kal Parmar, a specialist from Pure Sports Medicine, Britain’s premier sports injury practice, poured just a little scepticism on the claims that he is certain to re-emerge, as his coach says, “better than ever“. “It all hinges on his rehabilitation,” read a statement from Dr Parmar’s office. “Some of the future problems that he might have to contend with are cartilage tears, knee instability and arthritis.”



Bernhard Langer, a fellow Master champion, had obviously heard something chillingly similar. “I've spoken to a couple of physios and they say it's a serious injury,” said the German. “There could be some chance he might not play again or play to the level he has.”



Hank Haney brushed off these fears with utter indignation. "His knee hasn’t been right for a long time and he’s won, what, 10 of his last 13 tournaments, with two seconds and a fifth,“ said Woods’s coach. “The guy has so much heart. After they finally get this fixed, how can anybody think he won’t play better than he ever has?”



Haney is still stunned by what he saw a month ago when Woods was told in a Florida clinic that he had a double stress fracture of the tibia to go with his dodgy knee and that the preferred treatment was three weeks on crutches and three weeks of inactivity. "Tiger looked at the doctor and said, 'I'm playing in the U.S. Open, and I'm going to win',” recalled Haney. “And then he started putting on his shoes. He looked at me and said, 'Come on, Hank. We'll just putt today.'"



No wonder then, that the Texan believes his rivals will suffer when the new improved Woods resurfaces. He may have an immediate anomaly to redress if Phil Mickelson can live up to the sums of the stats men. They calculated yesterday that if the world No 2 wins either The Open or USPGA, a world championship and two other events he will leapfrog his nemesis in the rankings. It may not be wise to make No 1 angry, however.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

Bettany Hughes interview

The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

Vegetarian food gets a makeover

Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks
The haunting of Shirley Jackson: Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?

The haunting of Shirley Jackson

Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?
Bill Granger recipes: Heading off on holiday? Try out our chef's seaside-inspired dishes...

Bill Granger's seaside-inspired recipes

These dishes are so easy to make, our chef is almost embarrassed to call them recipes
Ashes 2015: Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

A woefully out-of-form Michael Clarke embodies his team's fragile Ashes campaign, says Michael Calvin
Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza

Andrew Grice: Inside Westminster

Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza
HMS Victory: The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

Exclusive: David Keys reveals the research that finally explains why HMS Victory went down with the loss of 1,100 lives
Survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bomb attack: Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism

'I saw people so injured you couldn't tell if they were dead or alive'

Nagasaki survivors on why Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism
Jon Stewart: The voice of Democrats who felt Obama had failed to deliver on his 'Yes We Can' slogan, and the voter he tried hardest to keep onside

The voter Obama tried hardest to keep onside

Outgoing The Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, became the voice of Democrats who felt the President had failed to deliver on his ‘Yes We Can’ slogan. Tim Walker charts the ups and downs of their 10-year relationship on screen