Although Tiger Woods expects to play golf in the U.S. Open, is it a smart career and personal decision or should he opt-out?
Tiger admirably wants to compete (and win majors) and has made year-long commitments to fans and sponsors, but that did not stop Woods from opting out of the 2010 season. Here are five reasons why, if Tiger Woods hobbles away now from the U.S. Open, and perhaps for the remainder of 2011, he just might rebound stronger in 2012.
1. Physical recuperation. Tiger Woods needs to heal his injuries, period. If he keeps playing golf, he will continue to withdraw from golf tournaments before the final round. There are two more major Championships he can compete in if he nurtures his wounds now.
2. Prioritize. Tiger Woods needs to get his life in order. A divorce debacle which has followed him around (of his own doing), swing coach catfights, loss of endorsements and possible IMG management changes continue to plague the former world's number-one golfer. Tiger Woods is going to have to sort out his priorities, take out the "trash" and get his mind back into the game if he wants to achieve peak performance.
3. Mental recuperation. As important as physical recuperation, Tiger Woods needs to come back strong emotionally. Questions of mental toughness and whether or not Woods will ever dominate the sport are the fodder of golf journalists. Do they have a point?
Steve Siebold, author of the international best-seller "177 Mental Toughness Secrets of The World Class", says not only will Woods be back, he will regain his number-one ranking in time. One reason? "Champions like Woods are professional failures. They know that success is based on a series of comebacks, and that setbacks are set-ups for comebacks."
4. Tiger needs to regain the respect of his fans. Why did Woods insist upon an openly apologetic press conference after his divorce? Why has he been tweeting, signing autographs, basically showing the softer side of Tiger? He longs for the backing of his fan base, a throng of cheers from the many who once thought Woods could do no wrong. The silence is deafening...
5. Woods needs to regain the respect of his peers if he is ever going to make a strong comeback. In the old days, when Tiger Woods was in the field, he was respected and feared. Players in the top position of a tournament would see Woods coming from behind and would stumble a bit, worried that he was going to make a charge...and they were right.
His fellow playing partners are talking and they're no longer worried...the Tiger mystique is gone.
Stewart Cink summarized why Woods should opt-out now for a strong comeback. "His personal struggles off the course, and the rough patch he’s still going through, it’s eaten away at his belief."
“Before this happened, he never believed he wasn’t going to win," Cink continued. "I guess it’s just hard to keep that up forever.”
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