British Open 2011: Tom Watson expresses concern about Tiger Woods’s future


Tom Watson during a practice round at Royal St. George’s. (TOBY MELVILLE / REUTERS)

First, there was the “impending announcement” Monday. which turned out to not be much of an announcement at all.

Now Tom Watson, who won eight majors, has spoken up about Woods’s chronic knee (and Achilles’) problems. Woods, who has played all of nine holes of golf since the Masters, has said he will not play again until he is 100 percent. Watson, who finished second in the 2009 British Open after undergoing hip-replacement surgery, wonders if that’s possible.

“With a hip, you put a new one in and here we go,” Watson said at Royal St. George’s in Sandwich, England, where the British Open begins Thursday. “The knee takes a lot more stress. It’s out there on its lonesome and rotates. Whether he is going to have a total knee replacement, who knows, but that may be a more difficult thing to come back from if he does.”

Woods has had four operations on his left knee — in 2008 he had surgery on his anterior cruciate ligament.

“The most important thing is for him to get well so he can put the force on it that he has to for his swing,” Watson said. “Can it be put back in shape is the question, that’s the concern. Whether it’s going to prevent him from dominating the game again, who knows?”

After spending most of her career in traditional print sports journalism, Cindy began blogging and tweeting, first as NFL/Redskins editor, and, since August 2010, at The Early Lead. She also is the social media editor for Sports.

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