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Out of the Picture
GARY VAN SICKLE
June 30, 2008
What Will the Tour Do Without Tiger? Answers to 14 Key Questions
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June 30, 2008

Out Of The Picture

What Will the Tour Do Without Tiger? Answers to 14 Key Questions

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The Tiger Questions
A knee hasn't been this consequential since 1997, when President Bill Clinton missed a step at Greg Norman's house and blew out the First Quadriceps Tendon. As U.S. Open champion Tiger Woods dealt with his jumbled joint—he tore his left anterior cruciate ligament last July, had an arthroscopic procedure in April, developed microfractures, limped to victory at Torrey Pines and now will undergo season-ending surgery—we are left to deal with the impact his absence will have on the game.

1 Will Tiger make a full recovery?
At 32, his chances are excellent. Surgeries for ACL injuries have a long-term success rate of 82% to 95%, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. However, Tiger's third knee operation in 5 1/2 years could lead to career-shortening arthritis.

Here's how the Golf Magazine Top 100 Teachers responded when we asked them if Woods will be as good as new:

YES 96%
NO 4%

2 When will Tiger come back?
His full recovery will require six to eight months. He'll be able to chip and putt after three months but probably won't make full swings until the five- or six-month mark. Eight months after a June surgery puts him into February. Courses where he'd feel comfortable returning would include Doral (CA Championship, March 12--15) and Bay Hill ( Arnold Palmer Invitational, March 26--29). Symbolically, the obvious choice would Torrey Pines (Buick Invitational, Feb. 5--8), but that might be too early. A safe bet is that he'll be ready for the Masters (April 9--12).

3 Is Tiger going to lose distance off the tee?
NO.

4 Should Tiger have played the U.S. Open?
Let's put it this way: How many Tour pros would take a U.S. Open victory in exchange for reconstructive knee surgery? Most of them.

How the Golf Magazine Top 100 Teachers responded when we asked them if Tiger should have played:

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