TOUGH BLOW FOR STATE'S GOLF FANS

     The Tiger Woods news of Wednesday is tough for golf fans around the state.  Woods was due to play in two events here this summer-- the Buick Open next week at Warwick Hills in Grand Blanc and in August, the PGA championship at Oakland Hills' South course in Birmingham outside of Detroit.  Tickets were sold on the basis of Woods' appearance but watching him over the week end, I doubted whether he'd show up at the Buick.  He has a clinic scheduled for Comerica Park next Tuesday and there is no word yet on whether he'll be involved or not.  Tickets have been sold for that event.

     Knowing that Woods has a torn ACL and two stress fractures makes one wonder how he ever played 91 holes under such stress at the U. S. Open.  He has not been physically right for nearly a year and doctors tell him he should be one hundred per cent with the proper therapy and rest.  There is no word on when Woods will have the surgery, the third such event on his knee in five years.  Clearly the remaining two majors will be a bit tained without him in the field.  Whoever wins the British and the PGA will feel great, but not as good as if Woods had been beaten directly.  He might not have won another major the remainder of the year, even if he was healthy, but at least the excitement level would have been considerably higher. 

     You wonder how the U. S. Open would have turned out had the other 155 players in the field competed with the same knee injuries Woods endured.  It is remarkable that he played the way he did, considering the injury hurt his driver swing and sent balls flying off the tee in all directions.  Appreciate him-- you're about to see what the tour is like with him away--and as we all know, it clearly isn't the same.

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