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TEE TO GREEN, STEVE SCOTT: Tiger Woods should make an exception for himself and take some wheels

Tiger Woods withdrew from his own event rather than take a cart last week.
Tiger Woods withdrew from his own event rather than take a cart last week.

You’re all thinking this as we lurch into December and trees start to mysteriously sprout fairy lights: ‘What do I get the man who has everything?’

Some people are easy. My spawn know that slow-perishing goods are the way to go. Dad’s nightly dram ensures that the annual present option can re-generate quicker than Doctor Who does.

The element of surprise is non-existent and there is not much thought required to count. But they know the gift will be treasured and fully used.

Job done, every year.

What’s the Six Million Dollar man now after inflation?

Others, however, can be more difficult. What we’d most like to get the ailing Tiger Woods for Christmas is a new leg, maybe two – Steve Austin style (1970s reference, sorry) perhaps.

Tiger’s abrupt withdrawal before his own Hero Challenge last week highlighted what is likely to be a permanent feature of what remains of his competitive golf career. Namely, his body is broken, in some ways beyond proper repair.

Plantar Fasciitis was the cause this time, but it’s clearly just a by-product of the other stuff. His shattered leg in the LA road accident is never going to be the same, and the Brucie Bonus is that it’ll manifest itself in other joints and ligaments as time progresses.

Thus Tiger is never going to play more than five or six events a season from here on in. The unfortunate addition is that other ailments result from placing the weakened parts of his body under even that amount of strain.

It’s why we didn’t see him at all after the Open at July. There was a clear cathartic element to his appearance at St Andrews.

It was clearly the ultimate goal of his 2022 travails. It’s what all the ice baths and physio and straining and limping were about.

He revealed last week that he’d required two further surgeries this year. I’m assuming that these would have been required no matter the strain he put himself under playing the Masters, the PGA and The Open.

That’s part of the severity of his injuries from the crash. We’re talking about someone who is lucky to be still able to stand on two feet.

And let’s face it, he wasn’t exactly the healthiest of golfers even before the car swerved off the road.

Get this man some (occasional) wheels

It’s not so much the hitting of shots that’s the problem, he said, but the walking.

So here’s what to get Tiger for Christmas season. A golf cart.

Stubborn and proud, Woods refuses to countenance taking to the wheels. The game is about walking, he says, and as a matter of principle he says he will never take a cart in a PGA Tour event.

In this week’s made-for-TV “The Match” and the other hit-and-giggle PNC Championship he’s playing with his son, Tiger will ride in a cart. Those are not sanctioned events, and everyone has the right to wheels if they want them.

I’m with him foresquare on the principle of the thing. I steadfastly believe that we should never, under any circumstances whatsoever, see a cart being used at a major championship.

Specifically if the ailments that require one have been completely self-inflicted. You all know who I mean.

But practicality has to go alongside principles. Tiger’s never going to play a full schedule again even if he could.

Allowing him a golfcart at the odd PGA Tour event would only result in his presence at a handful more. Maybe the Genesis Invitational he hosts in January, for example.

What would benefit the Tour – and golf – more, Tiger in a cart a few times a year or Tiger not playing at all?

Are we making a clear exception here? Damn right we are, and rightly so in my view.

No (good) reason why Tiger couldn’t have a cart in the Bahamas

Certainly there was no reason I could see why Tiger shouldn’t have wheels at his own Hero World Challenge event in the Bahamas each year, other than his own stubbornness.

The event, restricted to just 20 players, shouldn’t have sanctioned and OWGR status anyway.

It’s rank hypocrisy when criticising LIV Golf events for restricted fields and guaranteed money. And I’ve felt that way about this event since LIV was just a bitter dream in Greg Norman’s mind.

It seems to be important to Tiger the event has that legitimacy. I’d argue that his presence actually playing – by whatever means necessary – would be all the legitimacy it really needs.

It would require the swallowing of a bit of that fearsome Tiger pride. But even the man who has everything, really, can’t have everything.

Those LIV revelations that everyone already knows

Last week Valderrama was confirmed as a host course for LIV Golf in 2023, the first piece of golfing property that has “defected” to the so-called rebel tour.

But we’ve really known this for ages. And once again it seems to me that every time LIV aims to make a big impact with an “announcement”, it’s been so heavily leaked by someone that the actual response when it does happen is “so what?”.

This is not to decry the efforts of excellent journalists and their LIV exclusives. It just seems to me that if LIV really wanted to make an impact, they’d stop whispering so much and take better control of their big revelations.

The Saudis are so good at control, after all.

After almost a full year of all this, the biggest noise around the whole thing remains the intrigue, the rumours, the lawsuits, the disputes, the spiteful spats, and the cloak and dagger stuff. Everybody seems to love that.

The least noise about LIV is the actual golf. No-one seems to care about that.