GOLF: Why is Tiger Woods’ body and his game falling apart?

 

Is anybody else wondering why Tiger Woods is falling apart right
before our very eyes?
By Mike Bianchi – The Orlando Sentinel

Is anybody else wondering why Tiger Woods is falling apart right before our very eyes?

Why the aches and pains and strained tendons and ruptured ligaments are starting to happen more and more often?

Why his body simply doesn’t recover as quickly as it once could and why his ball doesn’t travel as far as it once did?

Anybody else wondering if Tiger’s prolonged winless streak is due more to the fact that his old swing coach has been fired or the fact that his old blood doctor has been indicted?

As Tiger hobbled around The Players Championship on Thursday and withdrew after recording a horrific 6-over 42 after only nine holes, it was hard not to wonder if his golfing free fall has more to do with his much-publicized split from wife Elin or his less-publicized disassociation with Dr. Anthony Galea.

You remember Dr. Feelgood, right? He’s the Canadian physician who was arrested and indicted for allegedly smuggling and unlawfully distributing HGH into the United States a couple of years ago. Galea is suspected of providing performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) to many elite-level athletes.

Woods was treated by Galea here in Orlando in 2009 despite the fact that Galea was reportedly not licensed to practice medicine in the United States. Woods says he used Galea not for HGH but for a technique known as “blood spinning” to help expedite Woods’ recovery from knee surgery. Why Woods would choose a well-known HGH doctor from Canada to do this “blood-spinning” when many licensed American doctors also perform the technique has raised a mountain of suspicion.

Even though Woods has denied ever taking PEDs, many professional golfers are skeptical. Sports Illustrated polled 71 PGA Tour players last year and nearly a quarter of them said they believed Woods was dirty.

Is it fair to accuse Woods of once being a juicer? No it’s not. But in this day and age when nearly every major sport has been touched by a drug scandal, it’s certainly fair to wonder. Why shouldn’t we? Especially with the way Tiger’s body – once the most invincible and physically fit in all of golf – is breaking down like an ’84 Chevette.

You don’t have to be a biochemist to know that one of the major benefits of HGH is that it helps the body quickly recover from the stress placed upon it by the repetitive nature of massive, torque-producing athletic maneuvers. That’s why baseball pitchers take them and why golfers would benefit from them, too. Golf swings and baseball windups, when done repetitively, place an enormous amount of strain on all of those moving body parts.

A few years ago, before the PGA Tour finally started drug-testing its athletes, Commissioner Tim Finchem had his head in the sand trap when he essentially scoffed at the possibility that any of his golfers could be on PEDs. Finchem truly believed that even though many of the top athletes in nearly every other sport were dirty that his sport was somehow completely clean. How laughable is that?

HGH is purported to be an anti-aging miracle cure that some doctors claim reverse the effects of growing old. We will probably never know for sure if Tiger ever put a PED into his body, but we do know this: He is aging quickly before our very eyes.

He was once one of the two or three longest hitters on the tour, but now he’s not even close (he’s 69th in driving distance in the five events he’s played in this year). He used to intimidate playing partners by stepping to the tee and mashing his tee shot 40 yards past theirs. These days, he intimidates no one, not even the Golf Channel commentators who use to tiptoe around ever saying anything remotely critical about him.

Earlier this week, this is what Golf Channel analyst Brandel Chamblee had to say about him: “It’s really sad to watch what’s going on with Tiger Woods on the range. This phenomenal athlete with perhaps the best swing of all time is now an old man out there trying to rehearse moves that don’t come naturally to him.”

With his fading golf game, his prolonged losing streak, his deteriorating body and his uncomfortable ties to the Canadian drug doctor, it makes you wonder.

Did it really always come naturally to Tiger?

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