Every Sunday night, the editorial staff of the SI Golf Group conducts an e-mail roundtable. Check in every week for the unfiltered opinions of our writers and editors and join the conversation in our all-new live Readers' Confidential or in the comments section below.
TIGER'S DORAL WD
Jeff Ritter, senior producer, Golf.com: Greetings, golf fans. We have a special guest this week, and he's the only guy I know who has Gil Hanse in his Fave 5: Joe Passov, Golf Magazine's senior editor for travel and course rankings. (In hindsight, I probably should've brought in an orthopedist to be this week's guest.) Joe, thanks for joining us.
Let's start with the most shocking development of the day: Tiger's WD after teeing off on the 12th hole during his final round. We still have very little information, but after leaving the premises, Woods followed up through a representative to say that it was an injury to his left Achilles' tendon, which tightened during his warm-up and grew progressively worse during his round. The bright side for Woods: it doesn't appear to be the left knee. Woods said he'll be evaluated early this week. Your reactions, please.
David Dusek, deputy editor, Golf.com: Obviously it's not a good sign, and I'll be shocked if Tiger plays at Bay Hill, his only commitment between now and the Masters. We're not doctors, but after so many issues with Tiger's left leg you have to wonder if his busier schedule (adding Pebble Beach and the Honda) hurt him.
Jim Gorant, senior editor, Sports Illustrated: Bummer. It was really starting to get fun with Tiger and Rory in the mix every week and a cast of other young guys battling it out. Hopefully it's not something that will keep him out for long.
Jim Herre, managing editor, SI Golf Group: Woods has had four operations on his left knee and now this. The best news would be that the knee and the Achilles injuries are not related. Short term, we might not see Tiger again until Augusta. Long term, I hope the leg doesn't turn into a chronic condition.
Alan Shipnuck, senior writer, Sports Illustrated: For all the talk about his swing and putting, Woods's quest for 19 majors hinges largely on his brittle body. This is a very troubling development. Even if this latest ding isn't overly serious, it's the most recent sign that Tiger's late-30s body can no longer hold up under the strain.
Charlie Hanger, executive editor, Golf.com: Glad to see Tiger shut it down right away. The old Tiger might have tough-guyed it around the course and gotten hurt worse. Hopefully he'll be back for Augusta.
Gary Van Sickle, senior writer, Sports Illustrated: It's a shame that Tiger got hurt since his game was clearly coming around. The Masters will be a lot better if he's healthy enough to play in it.
Damon Hack, senior writer, Sports Illustrated: I keep hearing the voice of Jack Nicklaus on Tiger's quest for 18 majors: "You guys are all so willing to just hand it to Tiger: Greatest Player Ever, like it's over already. And he'll probably wind up as that. But he has to do it first, doesn't he?" Tiger will have to deal with both his leg and Rory McIlroy to get there.
Mark Godich, senior editor, Sports Illustrated: I guess the good news is that it's the Achilles. The bad news is that this could really set him back. Let's face it: The clock is ticking. The last thing he needs is more doubt in his mind.
Cameron Morfit, senior writer, Golf Magazine: I'm hugely disappointed that Tiger is dealing with yet another setback. He was basically back, as far as I could tell at Honda. Now, who knows? The guy is running out of time.
Mike Walker, senior editor, Golf Magazine: The left leg creates a Catch 22, which Tiger hasn't been able to solve. He can't get his game back without serious practice, and he can't put in serious practice without straining his leg. That's why his comeback has been filled with starts and stops.
Godich: OK, I'll be the one to say it. Seeing as Tiger hasn't exactly been forthright about his injuries (and other matters), let's hope it truly is just his Achilles.
Ritter: Mark, somebody had to say it.
Tell us what you think in the all-new readers' live Confidential or in the comments section below: What's your take on Tiger's latest injury?
HAS ROSE FINALLY ARRIVED?
Ritter: Justin Rose shot a Sunday 70 to take down a stacked field that included all of the top 50 players in the world. It was his fourth career PGA Tour win; the last was at the 2011 BMW Championship. He's been on the upswing for a few years now. Is this the year he joins the ranks of golf's elite?
Shipnuck: We'll see. The guy used to make some noise at Augusta, at least until Sunday. This is a nice win for a nice player, but there are a lot of dudes out there like Rose. The only way to be considered elite is to contend regularly at the majors and win one. Or better yet, more than one.
Herre: Rose is a terrific player with a wonderful swing, but he's streaky on the greens. I'd put him on the second tier of tour pros.
Dusek: Rose is a solid player and could well make the Ryder Cup team, but I'm not ready to say that he's on the cusp of being one of the elite players in the game. There can only be so many truly top guys, five or six maybe, and I see him more as a 10-20 player. He's not Rory, Luke, Kaymer or Westwood (at least right now), but like so many other guys, when he putts well he can win.
Gorant: Is there a limit to how long you can be on the upswing before you actually have to reach the next level? All his wins are at good events, but he's got to be more of a consistent force to be elite.
Van Sickle: He's made some significant changes in the last two years with Sean Foley, and he does still seem to be improving. Even if he's an old 31, he's still only 31. That's relatively young. He's got time.
Joe Passov, Golf Magazine senior editor, travel and course rankings: Rose reminds me a bit of Tom Lehman's career arc. Not many wins, but all quality, and he seems to be in the hunt a lot on big occasions.
Hack: I like the quality of Justin's four PGA Tour wins. He seems to be a big-game hunter. Next stop, a major.
Godich: I just don't think he's good enough on the greens. If he hasn't found the magic by now, I don't know when he will. He'll win every now and then, but I don't see him getting to the elite level.
Morfit: I fully expect Justin to put his name in the mix at Augusta. How long he keeps it there is the big question.