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Weeks: Woods will fight to prove doubters wrong at Valhalla

Bob Weeks
8/5/2014 11:18:33 AM
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LOUISVILLE, KY -- There is one thing about Tiger Woods that his friends, family and peers know: he is really, really, really stubborn.

If you say there is no way to do something, he'll try it. If you say he shouldn't do something this way, he'll do it. He is a contrarian to be sure.

For that reason, it would surprise no one if he were to show up on the 10th tee at Valhalla at 8:35am on Thursday morning.

Despite being driven off the course at Firestone after jarring his recently repaired back, Woods is apparently still hoping to play the last major of the year. At least, so far he hasn't said he isn't playing.

At this point, all we know about the situation is what we don't know.

We don't know how severely he hurt his back. We don't know if he's able to swing a club and practice.

And we most certainly don't know when we will be hearing his decision.

According to a text message sent to ESPN.com's Bob Harig by agent Mark Steinberg, there is no timetable for deciding. It might happen in the next hour or it might not happen until 8:34am on Thursday.

Those who know Tiger say he loves to be the contrarian, loves to prove the doubters wrong. Many think he can't make the FedEx Cup playoffs, where he sits 217th, but Tiger likely thinks that's still possible.

Same for the Ryder Cup, even though captain Tom Watson said the latest injury doesn't bode well for making Woods a pick.

If Woods misses the PGA at Valhalla, where he won the title back in 2000 in a memorable playoff over Bob May, it will mark the seventh time injuries have forced him to the sidelines in a major since he last captured one back in 2008.

Some have pointed to the recovery time taken by Graham DeLaet who sat out the better part of an entire season following similar surgery to Woods.

While no two operations or patients are the same, it's interesting to note that DeLaet went under the knife in January and made his return to play in June. He teed it up three times before shutting things down again. He played one further event, a Web.com Tour stop in September and then didn't reappear until January.

The Canadian felt that more time on the sidelines would benefit his long-term career. So far, that's been the case. He plays almost pain-free although does experience a little twinge every now and again.

For Woods, the question must be asked: what would he gain by playing? In his past few starts, while there have been glimpses of good play, there is nothing to suggest he is going to contend for this major.

Or finish high enough to make the FedEx Cup playoffs or tempt Watson to pick him for Gleneagles.

But don't tell that to Tiger. If you say he can't, he'll do all he can to say he can, bad back and all.




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