Tiger Expects to be Ready for US Open

Tiger Woods is taking the necessary precautions in preparation for one of golf’s biggest events but can he return to greatness?

Ed Millerby Ed Miller

As Tiger Woods prepared for Tuesday’s press conference at the Aronimink Golf Club, he first hopped onto his Twitter account and tweeted that he would donate $1 million to his foundation if reporters didn’t ask him about his injured leg.  You’ll never guess what was the subject of the media’s first question.  He later posted on his account, stating he would still donate the money, which just goes to show that after all that has gone on in Woods’ life he isn’t hurting.

Well except for the crutches and boot on his left leg that he was wearing at the conference.

Woods had the equipment as a precautionary and doubts he will be ready to play the Memorial next week in Dublin, Ohio but he’s hoping to be ready for the US Open, which begins June 19.  If he competes, Woods would go to the US Open with virtually no competition, though it is not the first time it has happened.  

In 2008, he had surgery after the Masters and didn't play again until the US Open.  Doctors discovered a stress fracture in his left tibia in the weeks before the major and he not only played the U.S. Open, much to his doctor’s dismay, but he won it.  He is currently undergoing rehab on the knee, as he has been bothered by his Achillies’ tendon and a tightening in his calf for some time.

With Woods getting closer to a clean bill of health, will he be return to competing on a high level as he did for so many years before his personal life exploded into a media frenzy?

In 11 tournaments he played before the 2008 US Open, he won eight times, while finishing the runner-up twice and never finishing out of the top five.  In the 11 tournaments he has competed in prior to this US Open, Woods only has five finishes in the top 10.  He has won the US Open three times, in 2000, 2002 and 2008 and his 71 PGA Tour wins are third all-time.

For nearly 12 years, Woods was No. 1 in the rankings but that changed last November after Lee Westwood of England took over the top spot.  He has since fallen out of the top 10, the first time in 14 years.

"I haven't played. It's one of the reasons I've fallen I've far as I have," Woods said. 

Though he has not practiced in weeks, Woods hopes to begin to hit from a tee next week and will start his regiments soon after.  Can this recovery be the first step on the way to Tiger’s return to greatness? 

We will see, only time will tell.

Photo Courtesy of:  ASSOCIATED PRESS