This is what Tiger Woods and his relentless spin machine have done to me: My inner skeptic can't even feel his pain anymore.
This after the man went AWOL on the seventh hole yesterday at the TPC, where he was, for the second week in a row, getting sent home in a crate by players who used to be his subjects. Withdrew, Tiger did, claiming neck pain he believes stems from a bulging disk. Said it had been bothering him since Augusta, and it had gotten so bad he just couldn't play with it anymore.
The fair-minded journalist in me, who's never tried to play golf with a bugling disk in his neck, accepts that at face value.
Mr. Go-On-Tiger, Tell-Me-The-Sky-Is-Blue Skeptic wonders, on the other hand, if his neck would have driven him from the course had he been, say, a stroke out of the lead.
Look, if he's hurt, he's hurt. But isn't this the same guy who won the U.S. Open on a broken leg? Who played on with a shredded knee? Whose neck, despite what he said Sunday, didn't seem to be bothering him a whole lot while he was finishing fourth in the Masters?
But at Quail Hollow he quits on the course, shooting 74-79 and missing the cut. Now he physically bails not even halfway through a final round in which he was no factor.
Can you blame inquiring skeptics for wanting to know why, really?