Tiger Woods in hospital: He's not superman, golf is not even on the map says McIlroy

By Sports Desk February 24, 2021

Rory McIlroy was simply relieved Tiger Woods survived his car crash on Tuesday, rather than worrying about the future career of a golf "genius".

The 15-time major champion was involved in a single-vehicle incident that saw his car roll "several hundred feet", according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department (LASD).

The LASD said Woods was "very fortunate" to survive, although a long surgical procedure was required on his lower right leg and ankle.

Woods' team later announced the superstar golfer was "awake, responsive and recovering" following surgery as tributes poured in from around the sporting world.

The 45-year-old's PGA Tour rivals were prominent among them and McIlroy, a four-time major winner, joined the throng on Wednesday.

But discussion of how Woods, already recovering from a fifth back operation, might return to the Tour was not of immediate concern to McIlroy.

"He's not Superman," he said. "He's a human being, at the end of the day, and he's already been through so much.

"At this stage, everyone should just be grateful that he's here, that he's alive, that his kids haven't lost their dad. That's the most important thing.

"Golf is so far from the equation right now. It's not even on the map at this point.

"I think we're all sort of heading towards that day that Tiger wasn't going to be a part of the game. I'm not saying that that was soon.

"Before this accident, he was rehabbing a back injury and hopefully going to come back and play this year.

"Hopefully he comes back and is able to play, but if he's not, I think he’ll still be a part of the game in some way, whether it's obviously his design business and his foundation and hosting golf tournaments.

"It might be the end of seeing the genius at work with a club in his hand, but there's still a lot of other ways that he can affect the game in a great way."

In a Twitter post, world number one and reigning Masters champion Dustin Johnson was more open in suggesting another remarkable Tiger comeback.

Pointing to Ben Hogan, a great of the 1940s and 1950s who survived his own near-fatal car crash, Johnson wrote: "Hate to see the news about Tiger.

"Wishing him a quick recovery and a Ben Hogan style comeback. If anyone can do it, it's TW."

Related items

  • Cink claims third RBC Heritage title to cap record-breaking week Cink claims third RBC Heritage title to cap record-breaking week

    Stewart Cink cruised to a four-stroke victory as he clinched his third RBC Heritage crown on Sunday.

    Winner of the PGA Tour tournament in 2000 and 2004, Cink completed the treble after carding a one-under-par 70 in the final round.

    Cink had two birdies and a bogey to finish 19 under, ahead of countryman Harold Varner III (66) and Argentina's Emiliano Grillo (68).

    It capped a memorable week for Cink at Habour Town, where the American set the lowest 36- and 54-hole score at the RBC Heritage of 126 and 195 respectively, en route to glory.

    "I don't even know if I have the words," Cink said after having his son Reagan as his caddie.

    Cink became the seventh player to go 21 years or longer between his first and most recent victory at the same event on Tour.

    With the triumph, Cink also became the fourth player (fifth instance) aged 47 or older to win multiple times in a season on Tour since 1960, joining Sam Snead, Julius Boros and Kenny Price (twice), after taking out the Safeway Open.

    Aged 47 years, 10 months and 28 days, Cink is also the second oldest RBC Heritage champion following Hale Irwin (48 years, 10 months and 14 days in 1994).

    Webb Simpson, who was the defending champion, finished tied for ninth and eight shots off the pace following a final-round 70, while world number one Dustin Johnson (66) was a stroke further back.

    "I just feel like I made way too many mistakes," said Johnson, who missed the Masters cut. "Around here, you make mistakes, they penalise you pretty big."

  • Catlin targeting top 50 after overcoming Kieffer in play-off to seal Austrian Open title Catlin targeting top 50 after overcoming Kieffer in play-off to seal Austrian Open title

    John Catlin defeated Maximilian Kieffer in a play-off to win the Austrian Open after a thrilling final round on Sunday.

    Kieffer looked to be in charge at the Diamond Country Club in Vienna after going to six under for the day by the eighth hole, but he was unable to keep up that momentum and Catlin took advantage.

    Catlin had been two shots off the lead at the start of his round and Kieffer's impressive early form had the American four back at one point.

    Kieffer's first bogey just before the turn gave Catlin extra encouragement in what had developed into something of a two-horse race, and a remarkable 25-foot putt at the 11th had the lead down to just one shot.

    Catlin then found the hole from 30 feet on the 14th to take the lead after Kieffer had bogeyed the 11th, though their positions switched again briefly before they finished their respective rounds level.

    After a tense duel in the first few holes of the play-off, Kieffer found water three times on the fifth to gift Catlin the initiative despite him finding a bunker.

    He took full advantage and sealed his third European Tour title in eight months, though Catlin expressed some sympathy with Kieffer's struggles at the end.

    "It's always tough to watch that happen," Catlin said. "We're out here giving it our all, he's obviously a very, very accomplished player and to come out on top is something I will always cherish."

    Victory for Catlin could be enough to see him break into the top 80 for the first time, though he has no plans to stop there.

    "I'd love to crack that top 50 in the world," he added. "Just get a chance to play in some major championships - I've actually never played in a major.

    "I'm thinking this gives me a very good chance to play in the US PGA Championship, that was kind of my goal.

    "Hopefully it's good enough and to get into those events and to have the chance to win a major, that's been my goal since I was a kid.

    "Winning is never easy, it doesn't matter what tour you're playing on and to have gotten this one is definitely something special."

    Two-time major champion Martin Kaymer shared the lead with Alejandro Canizares ahead of Sunday's final round and ultimately finished third, three shots behind the top two on 11 under for the tournament.

    The German's title tilt fell apart on the front nine as he reached the turn at two over par, owing partly to a nightmarish double-bogey on the third hole.

    But he still managed to card a two-under 70 as he enjoyed a blemish-free back nine.

  • Cink maintains five-shot lead as he breaks another RBC Heritage record Cink maintains five-shot lead as he breaks another RBC Heritage record

    Stewart Cink broke another record as he maintained his five-shot lead at the PGA Tour's RBC Heritage to remain on track for his third title at Harbour Town Golf Links.

    The 47-year-old 2000 and 2004 RBC Heritage champion carded a two-under 69 to set another record for lowest 54 holes with an 18-under 195.

    Cink had broken Jack Nicklaus and Phil Mickelson's 36-hole 129 mark after back-to-back 63s on the opening two days.

    The American held a five-shot lead after day two but bogeyed on the third on Saturday before successive birdies on a steady round where he preserved his advantage.

    Cink has a two for 12 record in closing out final day leads on the PGA Tour but said he would embrace the challenge.

    “I've certainly been nervous and thrown up on myself and I've also played great in that situation," Cink said.

    "You know, I think it's a lot better to embrace it and enjoy it and feel the tingle as opposed to trying to act like it's not there.”

    World number four Collin Morikawa moved into second with a four-under 67 to be 13-under, one shot ahead of Argentine Emiliano Grillo.

    Canadian Corey Conners had been second but slipped to equal sixth after carding a one-over round of 72.

    Day one leader Cameron Smith continued to slide with a three-over 74, while last week's Masters runner-up Will Zalatoris shot 71 to be off the pace.

    Englishman Matt Wallace and American Webb Simpson were the movers, with rounds of 65 and 64 seeing them both climb up to equal fourth and sixth respectively.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.