Tiger Is BACK!

Adam Xiao, Contributor

Although Tiger Woods ended his 2016 Hero World Challenge on a down note, he played some really brilliant and quality golf considering he led the field in birdies made with 24. His second round 65 consisted of 7 birdies and zero bogeys. On the other hand, his final round 76 consisted of 5 birdies (yay!), 3 bogeys (yikes!), and 3 double bogeys (including one on the last hole, ouch!).

“It was a great week to be back — playing again and competing, playing against the best players in the world,” Woods said after his round. “Unfortunately, I made a lot of mistakes this week. I made a lot of birdies, but I made a lot of mistakes. I made some poor decisions.” Unfortunately, Tiger led the field in double bogeys made with 6 in total. Playing the last hole at 6 over par (3 double bogeys) certainly did not help.

To be clear, however, I honestly do not care about what Woods’ scorecard said all week. I do not really care about the 76 the last day or the 65 the second day. None of it matters. What matters is that Woods showed three parts of his game that indicate bright spots for the future.

  1. Willingness to make shorter swings and control the ball
  2. Red-hot putter (albeit at times)
  3. Ability to get through 4 rounds while smashing drives and showing no signs of injury whatsoever

The third point may be the most important out of the three. Tiger was really going after some drives this week. BUT he was also just as calm and nuanced with his irons. To be honest, I was pretty surprised by his performance and especially his will to smash the ball without any pain.

I’m not sure Tiger expected it either.

“It feels a little weird to not play in a cart,” said Woods. “Getting my legs back, getting my body back, this part of it, getting back to this point has tested [me] beyond anything I’ve experienced in my lifetime. The pain, the issues I have, it was just rough. To battle back, to battle through it … there were some pretty dire times there where I couldn’t move. Those are scary times.”

The 2017 calendar year remains a question mark for Woods but not in the way we thought a few months ago. The questions now are where he will make starts, not if those starts will even happen at all.

This is great news if you are a Tiger fan, golf fan, or even just a sports fan. Tiger is all of a sudden hurtling towards the 2017 Masters with a lot more momentum than expected before.

To be honest, I’m just happy that the club twirls and fist pumps are back.

(Note: Tiger changed some of his equipment including his driver, fairway woods, putter, and ball. He now uses a Taylormade M2 Driver, Taylormade M1 3 wood and 5 wood, Scotty Cameron Putter, and Bridgestone ball.)

Tiger shares a laugh with Jordan.
Tiger shares a laugh with Jordan.

 

Tiger with his Taylormade M2 driver
Tiger with his Taylormade M2 driver.

 

Fist pumps are back!
Fist pumps are back!