So browsing the golf.com website yesterday I came across an article as a part of the BBC Sports and how Retief Goosen has come out and said he believes Tiger Woods was faking his injury during his 5 rounds at the U.S. Open.
He was quoted as saying:
“It just seemed when he hit bad shots his knee was in pain and on his good shots he wasn’t,”
Asked if he felt Woods could have been faking it, Goosen said: “I think so. When he made the putts and he went down on his knees and shouting ‘yeah’, his knee wasn’t sore.
Seriously Retief? I didn’t watch every piece of coverage of the U.S. Open… but I saw plenty of drives where Tiger knocked it down the middle 330 yards, yet still experienced visual pain in his knee and body. It wasn’t just when he hit bad shots.
Later, Retief said (in a light-hearted manner):
“No-one but Tiger knows how badly hurt he was. But if he was really badly hurt, he would have withdrawn, wouldn’t he?”
Well Retief, that depends. If you are passionate about something that you have done your whole life and your goal is to break the record of the ultimate treasure in Golf, Jack’s 18 Major Championship wins…well no he wouldn’t have withdrawn. Now, that doesn’t mean Tiger didn’t make an error in judgement to stay playing, simply because he pushes himself hard and may have felt he could play all 4-5 rounds, but after the fact realized he had done more damage to his knee. If Tiger knew he would be withdrawing for the year because of this, I wonder if he would have played in the first place? My guess is no, he would have withdrawn prior to the U.S. Open, but that is after the fact.
The one thing I don’t see Tiger do, for any number of reasons, is call his playing competitors out on weird stuff. If someone open’s their mouth at Tiger such as Retief has done, or Rory Sabbatini has done, then often times you will have Tiger spew something back…sometimes. However, I honestly can’t recall Tiger shooting another player down out of the blue. Can you?
Retief’s comments will certainly have some tour backlash, but also fan backlash. I wonder if it will hurt his endorsements or anything of that nature.