Home' Island Sun : ISN 010816 Contents ISLAND SUN - JANUARY 8, 2016
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Tiger Turns 40. Will He Play Here In
10 Years On Champions Tour?
by Ed Frank
Next month, many of the top senior golfers in the world
return to Southwest Florida to compete in the Ace Group
Classic, the 28th consecutive year for this Champions
With Tiger Woods turning 40 years old last month, do you
realize that he could be competing here in only 10 years?
Woods at 40 is difficult for many of us to believe as it seems
like yesterday when he turned professional at the age of 19 and
dominated the game for nearly two decades. But that was yester-
year, and when he celebrated his 40th birthday on December 30,
the obvious question is what lies ahead for unquestionably one of
the greatest golfers in history.
His impact on the game turned it into a billion dollar empire. And the youngsters
headlining golf today, Jordan Spieth, Jason Day and Rory McIIroy, will be the first to
tell you that Woods inspired all of them – and still does today.
Just 18 months ago, Woods was ranked No. 1 in the world. He ended 2015
ranked 416. That’s how fast he has fallen.
In a recent interview with ESPN, Woods, who has undergone three back proce-
dures in the last 18 months, was asked about his future on the links.
“If I can’t prepare, I’m not going to play,” he said. “I won’t be ready to play and
win. Whatever that level is, Champions Tour or regular tour, that’s irrelevant. It’s
whether I’m ready to play, compete and win. If I can’t do that I won’t play.”
Many believe that he rushed back on the course too quickly after each back opera-
tion rather than allowing his body to heal. However, he played in only 11 official
events last year, missing the cut four times, including three majors. His best finish was
a tie for 10th place in the Wyndham Championship in August.
Recognizing his fierce competitive nature, we shouldn’t be too quick to dismiss
Woods as an athlete of the past. There are several golfers in their 40s who continue
to compete at high levels, Phil Michelson, Ernie Els, Jim Furyk and Steve Stricker, to
name just a few.
With the winner of 14 majors, second highest in history, it’s doubtful, however, that
Woods will match or top the magic number of 18 major championships won by Jack
No player in modern golf history has won four majors after turning 40. His 79 wins
on the PGA tour also is second to Sam Snead’s 82. And that is a record he has a bet-
ter chance to break. Snead didn’t win his 80th title until he was 47 years old.
Woods’ influence on golf has been tremendous despite the travails in his personal
life. Television ratings, purses, interest among fans, record tournament crowds – all
surged as a result of his phenomenal play.
If he feels he can no longer compete at a winning level, he said he will keep busy
with his golf course design business, his foundation, his children and other off-the-
Whether he plays another round of competitive golf or not, his legacy is secure,
having written an important chapter in the history of the grand old game.
Everblades Continue To Dominate
The Florida Everblades hockey team started the week with a 23-11 season record,
the best record in the Eastern Conference of the ECHL. Only the Missouri Mavericks
in the Western Conference, with a 26-3 record, are better in the 28-team league.
The local hockey team had won five of its last seven games before departing on a
three-game road trip to Greenville this week.
The Everblades return home to Germain Arena next Wednesday for a six-game
home stand, three against Brampton, a single game with Orlando and two against
photo by Getty Images
1. When was the last time before 2015 that the Detroit Tigers started a season 6-0?
2. Who had more stolen bases in his career: George Brett or Pete Rose?
3. Name either of the two Ohio State quarterbacks to be picked in the first round of
the NFL Draft.
4. Entering this season, who is the Memphis Grizzlies’ leader in career blocked shots?
5. In the 2014-15 season, Carey Price set a Montreal Canadiens record for most wins
by a goaltender (44). Whose mark did he break?
6. Montreal’s Didier Drogba in 2015 became the oldest MLS player (37) to record a
hat trick. Who had been the oldest?
7. Which horse holds the record for fastest Breeders’ Cup Classic victory?
1. It was 1985. 2 . Brett had 201 steals in 21 seasons; Rose had 198 in 24 seasons. 3. Don Scott
(1941) and Art Schlichter (1982). 4 . Pau Gasol, with 877. 5 . Jacques Plante (twice) and Ken
Dryden each had 42 wins in a season. 6 . Marco Di Vaio was 36 when he had a hat trick in 2013
for Montreal. 7 . Ghostzapper ran a 1:59.02 in 2004.
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