The game’s greatest player will not be playing in this year’s Ryder Cup in Valhalla. News that Tiger will have reconstructive surgery on the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) of his left knee emerged today from his personal website.
Tiger’s golfing accomplishments in the last twelve months seem even greater with the news that he ruptured his ACL shortly after last year’s Open Championship yet since then has battled on to win ten of the thirteen tournaments in which he has played (btw, the other three were two second-place finishes and one fifth-place!). Even more extraordinary is the news that he also has a double stress fracture of his left tibia. One can only speculate how well Tiger could be playing if he was fully fit!
There will be a lot of debate now about the impact of Tiger’s absence on this year’s Ryder Cup matches. Sport has many famous tales of how teams pull together against the odds in the absence of their star player but it is difficult to make an argument that Tiger’s absence will have a net positive effect on the US team. Unfortunately, this will also have a negative impact on the profile of the competition. As great as the Ryder Cup is, any event will be lessened by the absence of one as great as Tiger.
However, the good news is that there is one more place available for aspiring US golfers. The valiant runner-up at this week’s US Open, Rocco Mediate, is now just six places away from automatic qualification!