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Tiger Woods Announces Return To Golf, Will Play In PNC Championship With Son

Just 10 months after his horrific car crash that left his golf future in doubt, Tiger Woods announced that he will be returning to play in the PNC Championship next week with his 12-year-old son, Charlie.

“Although it’s been a long and challenging year, I am very excited to close it out by competing in the PNC Championship with my son Charlie,” Woods said on Twitter. “I’m playing as a Dad and couldn’t be more excited and proud.”

The tournament had been holding a spot for Woods. IMG’s Alastair Johnson, executive director of the tour, stated that they had been talking with Woods and his team for quite some time, and expressed their delight at Woods’ decision to make his return.

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The PNC Championship, previously known as the Father/Son Challenge up until 2020, will be played at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club from Dec. 17 to Dec. 19. In addition to Woods, golfers such as Bubba Watson, Justin Thomas, Gary Player, and John Daly will be present with their sons in the 20-player field.

Last year, the Woods’ finished seventh overall, shooting -20. That would end up being the last event Woods would play since now.

Woods, 45, was hospitalized after his single-car crash back on Feb. 23 in Los Angeles, which was ruled an accident by authorities. Woods — who refuses to discuss the incident further —was the only passenger in the car and suffered multiple leg injuries. While showed no signs of impairment driving, records show Woods was driving 87 mph – more than 45 over the legal speeding limit.

Woods injuries included open fractures to his tibia and fibula bones in his right leg, and called his rehabbing as being “more painful than anything I have ever experienced,” saying it was a whole different animal than previous rehabilitation processes. Woods said that at one point early one, amputation was considered.

While this is an encouraging first step for Woods, he’s still some ways off from competing in the typical PGA events. “As far as playing at the Tour level, I don’t know when that’s going to happen,” Woods said, noting he’ll play hit-and-giggle events such as the PNC Championship.

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However, whenever the 15-time major winner does make his competitive return, it won’t be at the full-time level. Speaking to Golf Digest, Woods explained he liked the idea of picking and choosing what tours he does, similar to what Ben Hogan did.

“You practice around that, and you gear yourself up for that. I think that’s how I’m going to have to play it from now on. It’s an unfortunate reality, but it’s my reality,” Woods said.

Easing back is certainly the smart move at this point in his life, given the tumultuous obstacles he’s faced recently. Woods has had a hefty list of injuries throughout his career, which include benign cysts, a ruptured ACL, knee surgery and stress fractures, and back problems that interrupted much of his career from 2014 onward. Woods isn’t a stranger to car accidents, either – in 2009, Woods crashed into a fire hydrant, eventually leading to his infamous affair scandal.

Tiger Woods Currently Recovering From High-Speed Car Crash 

Tiger Woods is “awake, responsive, and recovering” in the hospital after receiving major surgery following a high-speed rollover car crash near Los Angeles, according to a statement released on his Twitter account.

The golfing legend was driving in Rancho Palos Verdes around 7 a.m. PT when his SUV crossed a median and veered across two lanes of the road before hitting a curb, then a tree, and finally landing on its side in some brush, according to Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva. 

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Woods luckily remained conscious and calm as first responders got him out of the car, however, he sustained a serious leg injury. He underwent a lengthy emergency surgery on his lower right leg and ankle at the Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. 

“The leg fractures were comminuted, meaning the bone was broken into more than two parts, and open, meaning the broken bone was exposed to open air, creating risk of an infection. Orthopedic trauma specialists inserted a rod into his tibia to stabilize both the tibia and fibula bones, stabilized the foot and ankle bones with a combination of screws and pins, and relieved pressure to the muscle and soft-tissue of his leg by surgically releasing the covering of the muscle,” Chief Medical Officer Dr. Anish Mahajan said in a statement.

Villanueva claimed that it was “nothing short of a miracle” that Woods was alive after witnessing the damage at the crash site. In fact, he told the media that they’ve seen accidents with “far less obvious damage that ended up being fatal crashes.” 

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Woods was hoping to return to golfing within the coming weeks after having his fifth back surgery last month, however, this accident will obviously pose as another setback for the icon. Authorities claim that the 15-time major champion was likely driving his SUV at a high speed before the crash, as there were no signs of skid marks or other indications of braking. 

Villanueva claimed that him and Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputy Carlos Gonzalez, who responded to the crash initially, have responded to multiple accidents in the area where Woods crashed due to a section of road that moves downhill on a curve. 

“Woods didn’t seem concerned with his injuries at the time, he was calm but potentially in shock. I do think the fact that he was wearing a seat belt and that the vehicle safety features worked as designed by the manufacturer likely resulted in either reducing his injury or saving his life,” Gonzalez claimed. 

To free Woods from his vehicle firefighters had to break the windshield with an ax and use a pry bar to move the seats and metal from around Woods legs to ensure no further damage was done before extracting him from the vehicle. He went to the hospital in serious, yet stable, condition. 

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News From The Presidents Cup

The Presidents Cup in Melbourne, Australia has seen a last minute attempt in day two’s foursomes from the United States that has seen them stay within three points of the International team.

After being in the lead overnight by 4-1, the International team stayed in front for the five matches at the prestigious The Royal Melbourne Golf Club, finishing the day winners at 5-1.

And although the International Team are still in the lead, the United States seems to have the momentum going forward.

However both teams exchanged points before United States’ Justin Thomas and captain Tiger Woods won another match in the competition.
Friday’s final match was halved, leaving the score 6½-3½.

Speaking afterwards, self chosen wildcard Woods said “at one point it looked pretty bleak, but the guys turned it around. They played phenomenal coming in.
It was important for us to end the way we did and it totally changed the last hour.

The energy has been there. These guys are all young and extremely excited about being part of this team.

I think more than anything, it’s just getting a feel for this golf course. It is fast.”

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On the second day Matt Kuchar and Dustin Johnson were beaten 3&2 by International’s Adam Scott and Louis Oosthuizen in their first foursomes match.

However Xander Schauffele and Patrick Cantlay were able to gain a much needed point to earn the United States a 1UP victory over Joaquin Niemann and Adam Hadwin yet the International team’s lead was restored to four points thanks to Marc Leishman and Abraham Ancer beating Webb Simpson and Patrick Reed with a 3&2 win.

Afterwards Cantlay commented that “it was a hard-fought match all day. We played really well, both sides. Fortunately we came out on top. That putt was just a little right-to-left and really fast, so just had to get it started.”

After only claiming a single point during the opening day, Woods and Thomas managed to beat Hideki Matsuyama and An Byeong-hun with a 1UP victory.

Im Sung-jae and Cameron Smith were up again United States’ Gary Woodland and Rickie Fowler for the final match and ended with the game being halved therefore enabling the U.S. to steal a half-point from the Internationals.

“Momentum is huge,” Woodland said. “That was a huge half-point. Any time you can scrape out something; we did it. Now we have to regroup. We have 36 ahead of us tomorrow and hopefully go out and flip this a little bit.”

International captain Ernie Els commented that “they (the US) played good at the end there. But hey, look at the record we’ve had in the foursomes the last 25 years and for us to come out 2½-2½ in the session is like a win for us. We would have taken that at the start of the day.”

On Saturday morning Woods opted to not play himself during the fourball matches and instead played Rickie Fowler alongside Justin Thomas, commenting:

“That was kind of the game plan. It would be hard for me to go all the sessions. I’ve been fortunate enough to go out there with JT (Justin Thomas) and we’ve got two points.

JT played great and Rickie [Fowler] played awesome this afternoon. They have been looking forward to playing with one another and they have had success before, and send them back out.”

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Although Woods did go on to comment that he knew he would be “stressed out watching these guys play.”

Mark Leishman and China’s Haotong Li – who is making his tournament debut after Ernie Els had dropped him for the first few days – will be playing against Thomas and Fowler.

While session winner Adam Scott will partner An Byeong-hun who both play against Tony Finau and Matt Kuchar.

And after winning their foursomes match on Friday, Xander Schauffele and Patrick Cantlay will be taking on Abraham Ancer and Sungjae Im.

Webb Simpson and Patrick Reed are hoping to end their losing streak playing against CT Pan and Hideki Matsuyama. Recently, many fans have been questioning Woods’ choice of pairing however he has defended his decision saying:

“They have done all the little things right. It’s just a matter of having things go your way, and that’s part of playing these team sessions. You know, a putt here, a shot here or there, or you just get outplayed, it happens. But these guys have paired up really well. They are excited about being with one another, and they have handled everything extremely well.

Unfortunately, they just haven’t won points.”

With points being the main purpose of any competition many in America are hoping they will start to win some, particularly with the International Team potentially looking at an end to their run of defeats after losing the last eight biennial competitions.

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Should Competitive Video Games be Considered Sports?

They’re obsessively focused on maintaining their physical strength and endurance, spending hours a day training. They carefully manage their diets to maintain their performance, and meet with trainers regularly to make sure they stay on the right track. They even meet with psychologists to discuss how they can maximize their focus and concentration and leverage their emotions in service of achieving peak performance. You may think I’m describing an elite baseball, football, or basketball team. But in reality, this description applies to the thousands of professional video game players who compete in tournaments, viewed by millions, for enormous cash prizes.

In fact, the first-place prizes at many of these events exceed the prizes at events for more traditional sports: recently, the team OG won Valve’s The International Dota 2 tournament, taking home $15.6 million. Split evenly among the team’s members, that works out to $3.1 million per player; for context, Tiger Woods won $2.07 at the 2019 Masters. These remarkable prizes are funded by a variety of sources: ticket sales at the auditoriums where the competitions take place, online advertising to the millions of eSports fans who view the events live on platforms such as Twitch; and sponsors, who proudly display their logos on the teams’ uniforms and equipment.

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The popularity of eSports shows no signs of slowing down, and in fact, recent developments point to an even greater expansion of the industry: the 2017 League of Legends tournament attracted over 80 million viewers, and ESPN and Disney XD have secured the exclusive broadcasting rights to the Overwatch League, in which players of the popular first-person shooter game Overwatch compete at a high level. The functioning and organization of eSports teams is similar to that of traditional sports teams, with the NBA even holding a draft to recruit players of the NBA 2K series of video games. Colleges are even starting varsity eSports programs, governed by the National Association of Collegiate eSports.

While eSports involves highly talented players, rabid fanbases, and official bodies and governing organizations in much the same way traditional sports does, there are some key differences between the two. For one, players of eSports tend to have shorter careers and skew towards the younger side; this is because in the fast-paced action games popular in eSports, reaction time and quick thinking are of the utmost importance, and these skills are most pronounced in people in their teenage years and early 20’s. Additionally, players of eSports tend to be subject to more dramatic emotional swings during their game relative to players of traditional sports, perhaps owing to the intense psychological focus required at high-level competitive play. Just like in traditional sports, though, the problem of performance-enhancing drug use is widespread, with many players reported as using Adderall and other drugs in order to maintain their energy during hours-long gaming sessions; however, the burgeoning eSports industry is not as regulated as traditional sports, so the issue of drug use tends to go unchecked.

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While prominence in eSports has lead to success for many hardcore video game players, experts caution against the health risks that come from excessive video game playing, and warn that many teenagers and young adults are susceptible to developing video game addiction. Doctors note that whereas young players of traditional sports will naturally take breaks after a while due to getting tired, video game players are able to continue playing for extended periods of time. Signs of video game addiction include irritability, issues with school or work, tiredness, and social isolation. Professional eSports players stress the importance of having hobbies, interests, and a social life outside of video games, as it’s important for a player’s overall health to be able to take a break from their game of choice from time to time.