Wednesday, May 21
Q&A: Tiger’s Left Knee Carries Weight of Golf World
Tiger's Left Knee in action. (Honeyfield/Flickr)
IN A RARE AND REVEALING INTERVIEW, Tiger Woods' Left Knee told ARMCHAIR GOLF about its recovery from a third surgery and the multiple pressures that come with supporting the world’s greatest golfer.
Q: First of all, how are you feeling?
LEFT KNEE: I have my good days and bad days, but overall I think I’m getting stronger.
Q: This was your third surgery. Did the fist-pump celebration during the final round of last year’s PGA Championship exacerbate the problem?
LEFT KNEE: No comment.
Q: It really looked like Tiger was limping after that.
LEFT KNEE: I was told there wouldn’t be any fist-pump questions.
Q: Can you talk about Tiger’s swing and how it affects you?
LEFT KNEE: Well, you’ve seen him. Tiger has the mother of all golf swings. The torque is absolutely incredible. It gives me a sharp twinge just thinking about it. No knee is designed for that.
Q: What’s the hardest part about being Tiger Woods’ Left Knee?
LEFT KNEE: There’s the physical aspect, certainly, but there’s also the weight of everyone’s expectations. He’s playing for the record books and immortality. That’s a pressure very few knees ever experience. I also know that no matter how hard I train and how much pain I endure, I can be replaced.
Q: Does the fact that Tiger was just named fittest guy in America create added pressure?
LEFT KNEE: Didn’t see it, but no.
Q: Do you ever wish you were just a normal left knee for, say, a claims adjuster or a florist?
LEFT KNEE: Sure. I think all knees of great athletes have moments when they dream of a normal life. Look at Mickey Mantle, Joe Namath, Larry Bird. The list of greats with highly pressured knees is very long. I’m not the first, nor will I be the last. But in the end you have to work with the person you’re given.
Q: How do you keep going? Where does your inspiration come from?
LEFT KNEE: I take it a day at a time. Do the PT. Get my rest. I really hope Tiger is done with the running. That’s a killer. As far as inspiration, I look to the greats. In golf, all of us lower extremities pretty much worship Hogan. I mean, my God, his legs were totally mangled from that car accident and he came back and not only walked again but won six majors. It’s incredible (sniffling). Sorry, I promised myself I wouldn’t get emotional.
Q: It’s OK.
LEFT KNEE: Are we about done?
Q: Yeah. One last question. When will you be back? At the Memorial or the U.S. Open?
LEFT KNEE: Not sure. That’s Tiger’s call. But I hope Memorial.
Q: Why sooner?
LEFT KNEE: It’s always great catching up with Jack’s hip. The right one, not the replacement.
Q: I see. Thanks for taking the time.
LEFT KNEE: My pleasure.
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