Tiger’s WD from Dubai last week created a firestorm of hot takes, mostly about his back and the fact that people are convinced this is close to the end for the 14-time major winner. If we are being honest, those are all fair assumptions, given the way he looked, but the fact is nobody ever really knows what is going on except Tiger. Good thing Notah Begay has the inside scoop and dished out what seems like the first positive news we’ve heard in a while. According to Begay, there’s no reason to hit the panic button.
“At the end of the day, there wasn’t any real, I guess, panic, which I think is good,” Begay said. “Of course everybody’s got an opinion, but I defer to Tiger and his understanding of where he’s at.”
Begay added that he has seen Woods’ workout regimen change with this latest comeback after a pair of back surgeries sidelined the 41-year-old for nearly 16 months.
“I’ve been there, I’ve seen it, I’ve worked out at his house in his home gym, and it’s dramatically different,” Begay said. “It’s less intense, more focused on stability to certain areas. I don’t think there are many athletes that could have come back from something like this, and to be where he’s at in this entire process is positive.
“Certainly not where he wants to be, and apparently not where everybody else wants him to be, but at the end of the day, being able to play competitive golf and come out and at least have a chance to put some more work in and show some signs of improvement is a good thing.”
Begay noted that the lengthy round-trip flight to Dubai may have had a negative impact on Woods’ health, as may have the penal rough on Torrey Pines’ South Course that Woods frequently encountered during his opening-round 76. While he remains optimistic about Woods’ long-term prognosis, he added that changes may be in the works following a pair of disappointing results.
“All of a sudden you have to do a re-evaluation of, ‘What am I capable of?'” Begay said. “‘What are my thresholds, and what are we going to do to make adjustments moving forward?’ And I think that’s where we are right now.”
As of now, Tiger is slated to play The Genisis Open Feb 16-20 and The Honda Classic a week later. Only time will tell what will happen.
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