The news that Tiger Woods' recent Achilles tendon injury, which forced him to withdraw from the WGC Cadillac Championship on Sunday, is only a "minor strain" will come as welcome news to fans hoping to see him play more in 2012 (see: The Masters). As one of my co-workers so eloquently put it, "I just want him to be back already, this is getting ridiculous." Ridiculous indeed. The sight of aerial coverage following Tiger's escape from Doral was not only a deflating scene, it made me long for the days when he played through the pain--and won.
Let's be fair, chances are Woods was not going to compete for the Cadillac Championship title, and it was probably in his--and the PGA Tour's--best interests to stop playing, but there was a time when Tiger Woods wouldn't stop playing even on doctor's orders. So instead of rehashing the negative aspects of his injury, let's use this opportunity to take a look back at some of golf's best "playing through pain" moments; starting with the man of the hour and said doctor's orders.
Tiger Woods wins the 2008 U.S. Open despite two leg fractures.
Ironically, it was then-coach Hank Haney who revealed to the world that Tiger Woods not only won the 2008 U.S. Open with two leg fractures, but he did so against doctor's orders. Saying at the time, "It's just incredible he accomplished what he did. I'm so proud of him. I can't believe it. The guy's heart and his toughness ... wow. It really is just wow. I don't know what more you can say than that." Guess Tiger training in combat boots didn't bother Hank back then.
-- Derek Evers