So Tiger Woods is back…again. Teeing it up on the PGA Tour for the first time in what feels like forever when he takes on the South Course at Torrey Pines today at 1:40 p.m., EST.
And really, if Tiger doesn’t get back to where he was before, or even come close to it, or pulls out with another injury as he did with each previous comeback attempt, then this is it.
I noted around this time last year that I felt bad for Tiger, because he still has as much talent as anyone on the PGA Tour, even these young guys who do nothing but bomb it off the tee and hit wedges into every green, but his body won’t cooperate, and without being able to stay on the course, he hasn’t been able to knock that rust off his game.
You saw it during his first tournament of 2017 last year. He had trouble off the tee, but his irons and wedges were solid, and he putted very well. His game is still there, but when you don’t get the play for real on a consistent basis, it’s impossible to get better.
But at some point you run out of chances to come back, and people stop caring and watching as you tee it up and shoot 78, then pull out with another injury. Eventually, it becomes sad and people want you to get off the course/field/ice/court and just go home to be as healthy as you can for the rest of your life.
Think of him as the golf version of Tony Romo, talented as all get up, but couldn’t stay healthy. And now Romo is in the booth for CBS calling football and golf.
It’s also become insanely weird to me that we are now at the point in golf where Tiger Woods is more of a great story that old people talk about than an actual thing that we have seen and talk about weekly. It’s to the point where Dustin Johnson has a great win, his 17th since 2008…and Tiger STILL has more wins, despite not having one since 2013. He was that dominant.
For a decade-plus he was the most dominant golfer ever. He’s the GOAT, sorry Jack and Arnie, and that’s why people continue to tune in. Because for one round, or as more people hope, one weekend, he might piece it all together and fire up the crowds. You want to see him club twirl a 3-iron knowing that it’s right on-line and could go in.
And this is the last chance for us to see and care about that. If he can’t at least make it through four rounds (provided he makes the cut, which has been no given), then why the hell should we continue to watch a 42-year-old guy with a bad back who at times looks like he’s you and I trying to break 80 at the local muni.