Jim Souhan: Tiger Woods should keep playing golf

Jim Souhan, Star Tribune on

Published in Golf

AUGUSTA, GA. – Tiger Woods set a record with his 24th consecutive made cut at the Masters, then faltered on the weekend, shooting an amateurish 82 on Saturday.

That performance would make this a good time for Woods to retire from the PGA Tour. His body won't hold up for four competitive rounds, he rarely plays anymore and his latest Masters record will likely last forever.

Why would he limp around difficult golf courses, finishing back in the pack?

He might have provided a nonverbal answer this weekend.

After shooting that 82, he could have bowed out, claiming that his back, knees, ankles or hips wouldn't allow him to play. No one would have blamed him.

So what did the fiercest competitor in the recent history of golf do?


He put on his Sunday best — red shirt, black pants, competitive scowl — and showed up on Sunday morning to work on the range with his son, Charlie, who held training aids as Tiger swung.

The most prominent debate in Augusta National's lavish media center this weekend was not about contenders but about Woods' future. The consensus among my peers seems to be that he should fade away and play a ceremonial role only.

I disagree, in part because of a conversation I had with Twins manager Tom Kelly decades ago. One of the players who helped him win two World Series was mulling retirement and asked Kelly's advice — which was, "If they'll let you play, why wouldn't you play?"

Woods knows the end is near, but why rush toward it? Why not play, if you can still play?


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