When it comes to Tiger Woods talking about his health, he has a long and consistent track record of downplaying — or in some cases, seemingly lying — about what’s going on with his body.
This past weekend at the Presidents Cup was the latest example. After going 2-0 in the first two sessions of the matches, it wasn’t out of the question that Woods may take some time off during Saturday’s marathon 36-hole day. However, when the afternoon pairings were announced — by Woods himself, no less — and there was no Tiger to be found, heads started to be scratched.
Woods did his best to diffuse the situation, saying he believed in his team and trusted them to get the U.S. back into it while he did what was best by getting ready for Sunday singles. Pestered by media about his health, and what was the issue that could possibly keep arguably the best player in the competition sidelined for two straight matches, Woods held his company line.
“You have to do what is best for the team, and I’m getting ready for singles tomorrow,” Woods said. Asked if he was “physically okay” by Golf Channel’s Steve Sands, Woods responded, “I’m always good, doggie.”
In hindsight, the American’s validated their captain’s belief by winning the session 3-1, but on Tuesday on his SiriusXM PGA Tour Radio show, Fred Couples gave fans a behind-the-scenes peek at the real reason Woods wasn’t able to play on Saturday.
“At about 10 o’clock, (Woods) said, ‘Guys, my body is not going to let me go. I’m not going to play this afternoon,'” Couples said Woods told his assistant captains through their headsets. “Of course, Stricker hopped on and said, ‘Tiger please, can you go in right now and get loose and warm.’ He said, ‘Strick, I can’t do it.’
“Zach said, ‘Tiger, are you sure, you sure?’ (Woods) said, ‘I believe in the team,’ and I’m like, ‘Yeah, so do I, but I believe that you need to be playing.’
“There was like a 10-minute gasp and then we got over it,” Couples said. “We regrouped and made a new team and they went out and won.”
— SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio (@SiriusXMPGATOUR) December 18, 2019
While most of the speculation rightly centered around Woods’ body, it’s nice to hear that it was more a case of the weather than it was another potential injury. Woods, of course, allayed all doubt that he was feeling up to it the following day when he went out and beat Abraham Ancer in singles, 3 & 2, to begin the American comeback.