Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Is Tiger Woods Finally Back?

All aboard, we're now loading up on the "Tiger is finally back" bandwagon.

Everybody get your red shirts, black pants, TW caps and those goofy looking white athletic golf shoes because Tiger Woods is back.

With the fire hydrant in Isleworth, sex clinic in Mississippi and Perkins Restaurant distant memories, Woods is finally back on his game following victory at Jack's tournament (The Memorial).

Even the most devoted Tiger hater must appreciate the way Woods sealed the victory. Bringing back memories of his phenomenal chip at the 16th hole at the 2005 Masters, Woods executed a similarly memorable shot at The Memorial.

It was the type of timely shot that only Tiger seemed to hit prior to the Escalade escapade.

Is Tiger back?

No, at least not the invincible Tiger.

This 2.0, 3.0, 4.0 or whatever version of Tiger will probably play more at the level of Phil Mickelson, Rory McIlroy, Rickie Fowler and Luke Donald.

Woods will be good, even great at times, but not nearly as dominant as his glory years when he was rattling off Major victories.

At age 36, with a slew of knee and personal problems, there is no way Woods will ever get close to his prime.

When you look back at the year 2000 when Woods was 24 years old, he won an amazing 11 events (9 PGA Tour titles, a European Tour event and the PGA Grand Slam) and three majors (Masters, U.S. Open and British Open).

Let's face it, Tiger set the bar so high that any future accomplishments by him and other golfers pale in comparison to that year. 

You hear all the talking heads rattle on about TW being one of the favorites to win next week's U.S. Open, but nobody really knows which Woods is going to show up.

Will we see the struggling, floundering Woods we saw in the Masters (following his Arnold Palmer Invitational win) or the new, improved Tiger that hits fairways, sinks five foot putts consistently and executes miraculous shots?

To be sure, the ratings for the U.S. Open will be off the charts because of Tiger. 

Both the bandwagon types and haters want to see Tiger either win his first major since 2008-- when he won the U.S. Open on a bum leg-- or crash and burn and miss the cut.

I'll be watching intently. 

Admit it, so will you.

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  1. I will admit to being perhaps the biggest Tiger defender on the planet. He's made it very hard to be in his corner the last few years, but if he keeps playing like he did last week, it will get easier. But I agree, he will never be "back" because back is simply impossible...

  2. I agree with everything you said, Ed. Tiger could be the best player in the world and still not be anywhere near as dominant as he was. In fact, he's now fourth in the world ranking and seventh on the PGA Tour money list. He's won two tournaments this year, had a playoff loss, and a 3rd in the strong-field Dubai event. That we've heard so much about how badly Tiger is playing really underscores the standard he previously received.

  3. Well put Dave. When you compare Tiger to other top players, he's right in the mix. When you compare him to 2000 Tiger, even he can't and won't ever come close to that type of dominance.