By Coach Kathy Kemper
Published on June 5, 2008
Rancho Santa Fe Review Commentary
I had the chance to have talk with Tiger Woods last week in Washington, DC at the Congressional Country Club. He was all about coming to Torrey Pines for the U.S. Open!
Tiger Woods has two main concerns right now: His knee and the U.S. Open at Torrey Pines.
Yes, he will be ready, he insists, to play in the upcoming U.S. Open at Torrey Pines. Woods is widely considered the favorite, having won the Buick Invitational at Torrey Pines for the last four years. In addition, Woods on the same event in February 2003 after having a similar procedure in December 2002.
“I know what it takes to win a tournament coming back after having a procedure done,” he said. “It is just a matter of being prepared, getting all my practice time in, making sure my shots are how I want them, trying to understand what my misses might be. But you really don’t know until you get under the tournament’s heat what your misses are going to be. I will do everything I can to be ready like I am for each and every other major.”
Woods had arthroscopic surgery on his left knee two days after his second place finish at the Masters on April 13. “Rehab,” Woods said, “has been cautious and slow. But, the knee is doing better. The rehab is working. It really gets old riding that bike, man. But everything is on schedule. Just trying to get this ready for the Open. Right on schedule for that. It’s been slow, it’s been boring. The leg is starting to gain some strength.’
Woods’ burning desire to play has been tempered by his desire to be ready-ready enough to win. That’s why he elected to skip last week’s Memorial. “I didn’t hit all my shots I needed to hit yet,” he said. “So going to Memorial that rusty, it wouldn’t have made any sense. I wasn’t quite ready. The whole idea is to be ready for the U.S. Open. It’s hard to patient. You know I am not a patient kind of guy; I always want to go all out. I’ve got to be smart about it.
“I miss the heat of being in there, in contention with everything on the line, trying to pull off a shot. That’s fun to me. That’s why I prepare, and that’s what I love to do.”
Sounds like vintage Tiger Woods to me!
Coach Kathy Kemper is a tennis professional and CEO and Founder of the Institute for Education headquartered in Washington DC.
She lives with her husband and two children in Rancho Santa Fe and Washington DC