Another Ominous Tiger Woods Post-Surgery Comment

I had made mention a little while back when word came out that Tiger Woods has been taking ibuprophen “all day” on the advice of his surgeon, to combat possible back pain onset since his return from the 4th back surgery, that one a spinal fusion.

That in itself raised my eyebrows, because a successful spinal fusion, once healed and rehabbed, shouldn’t be causing any pain unless one is doing something to cause damage and therefore pain to that or any other area in the back.

So, yesterday’s comment, once again a throw-away “nothing” according to TW, as that he’d been playing through a stiff back all day yesterday, despite the very warm and humid conditions, and despite he hadn’t played any events in the last three weeks.

From ESPN online courtesy of Bob Harig:

“I wasn’t rotating very well today, back was tight, and just, it is what it is some days,” Woods said. “And I made a few tweaks in my swing, my setup, and lo and behold, I was able to make some good swings on my back nine and turned the whole thing around.’

… Woods said he could sense when he woke up that he might be in for a difficult day. And his back tightness didn’t get any better during his warm-up session. Asked when his back finally loosened up, Woods said, “It didn’t.

“I have days like that,” he said. “My back is fused. I’m going to have days where it’s just tight. Unfortunately, today was one of those days, and that’s all right. I don’t have any pain, thank God. It’s just tight. So, no biggie.”

No biggie…

I beg to differ.  Remember, you’re talking about a man who was found to have 2 powerful pain-killing drugs in his system when he was charged with DUI last year around this time (courtesy NY Times via AP):

The report, prepared by the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, says Woods, 41, had … the painkillers Vicodin and Dilaudid… in his system when he was arrested at 2 a.m. on May 29…

… Woods issued a statement Tuesday saying he had been trying on his own to treat his insomnia and pain from his fourth back operation, which he underwent in April.

… and that was very shortly exactly 5 days after he’d claimed that he was pain-free.”

From Emily Kay at SB Nation on May 24, 2017:

Tiger Woods, following his fourth back operation, feels great and looks forward to getting back to the PGA Tour — when his surgically repaired back is ready.

“I haven’t felt this good in years,” Woods, who underwent fusion surgery in April, wrote Wednesday on his website. “I want to say unequivocally, I want to play professional golf again.”

You’re talking about a man who played in and won the ’08 U.S. Open with 2 stress fractures in his left leg and with his left knee ligaments destroyed to the point of having to be re-built after that event.

Not to mention, he’s coming off a 3-week layoff, and we never heard a whiff of anything about a stiff back when he played 2 and 3 events in a row earlier this season.

So, for a guy who is notorious for playing through pain and doesn’t admit to it when doing so… the admission first that he pops ibuprofen while playing and now to have revealed that he has back stiffness, is definitely not my definition of “no biggie.”

Hasn’t Changed The Back Torquing…

Remember, he’s still swinging in the Modern Golf Swing style, which is the source of every problem he’s had with his physical well-being to date, and at 42, he’s swinging at speeds around when he was in his physical prime with no back issues.

I’m not saying there’s anything there, nor do I wish him ill in the least regard, it’s just what I do – analyze swing techniques and estimate likelihood of injury from those motions, and I’ve been correct far more than I’ve been wrong.

All I’m saying is that I’m beginning to smell a whiff of smoke in that engine, but it could be nothing more than smoke, and no fire.

However with 4 back surgeries and with how hard he’s swinging, combined with anecdotal evidence that a spinal fusion is not a magical cure (especially when you’re still doing what you were doing to require all those surgeries), the clock may be ticking.

Time will tell, won’t it?

Back Pain or Back Injury Swinging a Golf Club?

Lacking Power, Speed, Distance and or Consistency? 

Need A Swing That Is More Easily Maintained?

If You Answered “Yes” To Any Of The Above Questions, The Answer Is In The Formula For The Golf Swing:

“E = MCS” The Swing Video

7 thoughts on “Another Ominous Tiger Woods Post-Surgery Comment

  1. targettom

    I guess I will never understand these golfers who insist on twisting their backs like a dish rag. It’s the old definition of insanity. A child can see the back wasn’t intended to be messed with this way. But our old buddy P Kostis was still peddling the snake oil just a few days ago; ” [player x] gets his power by lower body resistance against a big shoulder turn…”. Of course the whole golf media is dysfunctional in the same way. At least the smarter guys like Miller and Faldo stay away from the topic [IIRC] and let PK and others step in that cesspool.

    1. D Watts Post author

      But our old buddy P Kostis was still peddling the snake oil just a few days ago; ” [player x] gets his power by lower body resistance against a big shoulder turn…”

      That can’t be, Tom – we all know that PK hates that type of thing:

      Except, of course,when he doesn’t! 😉

      Not to mention, that statement would be a non sequitur – you don’t “get” power by swinging with restricted hip turn. In fact, you get less power in a swing doing it that way, for the obvious reason that you’re not using the hips & legs on the back pivot… and any restricted-hip swinger who tried the proper way (using the hips & legs) would quickly find that out.

  2. Ralph Hagelbarger

    DJ Watching Tiger today missing 2 short birdie putts then hitting it right in the trees after being 5 under for the round. I am curious about David Leadbetter comments in his A Swing book about comparing the swings of the irons and driver indicating that both backswings are the same but the driver downswing is ascending while the irons are descending into ball impact.

    1. D Watts Post author

      Hi RH!

      I haven’t read that book, but I would certainly think that all back swings on standard swings would be the same for all clubs.

      The modern driver is meant to be impacting with ascending strike to the ball, as I’ve mentioned in the Shot Data series, and the irons/wedges to be descending into contact, so I don’t have any issues with that assessment.

      I would think however that TW’s putting issues stem from a lack of practicing as much as he’s used to with the flatstick, in order to iron out the problems he’s had with his driving and at times his iron/wedge play.

      He was the best clutch putter ever, with the possible exception of one Mr. Jack Nicklaus (you don’t win 18 majors and 70+ events with shaky putting), so I don’t think he has any technical issues with his stroke. My bet would be, not as much time spent on the putting green as he’s been used.

      Also, he’s 42, and the putter is always the first to go. Every great player who stopped winning majors or even events past a certain age has said as much. So, we could just be seeing TW on the decline with his once-amazing putting skills.


  3. buddhabob

    research the history of patients who have had fusion then ask Steve Kerr how he is doing….

    1. D Watts Post author

      Ah, Kerr’s was a back fusion, was it? I know he missed a ton of games a couple of years back due to having had issues with a post-back-surgery, didn’t know it was a fusion.

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