When Tiger Woods was pulled over under suspicion of DUI a couple of months ago, he explained that he had been taking a painkiller, which explained his slurred speech and the fact the he had fallen asleep behind the wheel of his car.
That was true, but it wasn’t the whole truth. As reported by ESPN, Wooods’ urine test showed amounts of Vicodin, Dilaudid, Xanax, Ambien, and THC (marijuana) all in his blood stream.
Woods then release the following statement.
“As I previously said, I received professional help to manage my medications,” Woods said Monday in a statement released through a spokesman. “Recently, I had been trying on my own to treat my back pain and a sleep disorder, including insomnia, but I realize now it was a mistake to do this without medical assistance. I am continuing to work with my doctors, and they feel I’ve made significant progress. I remain grateful for the amazing support that I continue to receive and for the family and friends that are assisting me.”
Self-medicating is a nice person term for “addicted to drugs”. That is not unexpected for professional athletes who pain through pain nor for people who have had multiple surgeries: Wood has had four on his back since 2014.
Pro golfers don’t need to be taking five medications at once. Pro golfers have a very specific routine of exercise, rest, nutrition, practice, and playing. It looks easy on TV but it’s not. It’s work. Tiger Woods isn’t a pro golfer right now and hasn’t been for a while. At his current level of pain and need to dull that pain, he might never be again.
I was born 22 months before Tiger Woods and despite looking nothing like an athlete, I can tell you that when you hit 40, unless your Tom Brady, your body takes a hit. I can’t lift all the grocery bags at one time out of the back of the car anymore, and when I get a nasty scratch from the cat, it takes a month to fade away instead of a week. Forty isn’t the time to be rehabbing from half a dozen surgeries and trying to play golf at the highest level against guys who are now quite literally half your age.
As much as it might pain him to hear it, Tiger Woods needs to leave the PGA Tour in the past and figure out what’s next for him. He’s done some course architecture and served ably as a coach for the US Ryder Cup. Or he can put golf in the rearview mirror and think about something else for a while. Start a business, buy a sports franchise, be the best father in the world.
And if he does get healthy, nothing is keepin him from playing the Majors again, like so many 40+ players before him. And as the next decade rises up, if he is healthy, well there’s a whole senior PGA tour waiting out there for hi m to dominate.