Could a sneeze have led to Tiger's injury?

April 27, 2011

The news that Tiger Woods suffered a Grade 1 mild medial collateral ligament sprain to his left knee and a mild strain to his left Achilles tendon (at least that's what the statement on Woods' website says) while hitting his second shot from the pine straw underneath the Eisenhower tree on the 17th hole during the third round of the Masters brought with it questions of how exactly the injury occurred.

How about a sneeze?


OK, this may be a bit of a stretch, but bear with me. I was following Woods during the back nine at Augusta National that Saturday and was standing by the 17th tee as Woods got ready to hit. As Woods started his backswing, a spectator sneezed. Woods was able to stop his swing and his caddie, Steve Williams, provided a pleasant, "Bless you" to the offending fan.

Woods then re-set and proceeded to hit his tee shot, which struck the large tree and dropped straight down into the pine straw. It was on the following shot that he hurt his leg.

Maybe if the sneeze doesn't happen, Woods hits a better tee ball and doesn't hurt his leg on the next shot. Far-fetched? Perhaps. But not a completely illogical thought.

-- E. Michael Johnson