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Sunday
Dec032017

Tiger Reviews In: This Was A Sequel Worth Watching!

If Tiger were Star Wars then 1997 would be his Episode IV A New Hope, 2000 his Empire Strikes Back and the 2016 World Challenge, in hindsight, his version of stilted Episode 1.

First, let's get an hygiene point out of the way before we get to the reviews: Tiger, under no circumstances, should ever sport facial hair of any kind again. No goatees, no fu manchu's, no modified-fu manchu's and certainly no soul patches. Clean shaven for this comeback, the man looked ten years younger! Oh, and he still has no major titles won with any of his assorted growths from over the years, FYI.

Steve DiMeglio for USA Today:

There are no issues with his surgically repaired back.

No issues with his swing speed.

No issues with his power.

Nope, after a 72-hole romp around Albany Golf Course, there remain few issues ahead for Tiger Woods, few questions as he heads into the new year.

Doug Ferguson for the AP:

Woods made a return to golf that was solid with his health and his game, and he headed into the holidays thinking about a schedule for 2018.

Ben Everill at PGATour.com:

Tiger Woods is back – again.

The future looks bright for Woods after the 79-time PGA TOUR winner successfully negotiated all four rounds at the Hero World Challenge in his long-awaited comeback from back surgery.

Rex Hoggard focused on the driving effort as a huge sign of success.

For four days, Woods drove the ball as well as he has in a decade, putted better than his final statistics might suggest and largely controlled his golf ball with the notable exception of his opening loop on Saturday.

Brian Wacker with a similar take at GolfDigest.com:

For four days, Woods drove it as well he has in 10 years, mostly looked good with the putter and, save for his opening nine on a blustery Saturday, largely controlled his ball.

Bob Harig of ESPN.com on Tiger's shocking power off the tee in his comeback:

The power he unleashed with his driver -- and some of the other shots he launched into orbit with his 2-iron -- was a remarkable sign of renewal, especially if you understand where he has been since the first of four back surgeries in 2014 and all the struggles he has had keeping the ball in play.

Woods had no trouble keeping pace with Thomas, who ranked eighth in driving distance on the PGA Tour in 2017 by averaging nearly 310 yards off the tee.

 

The SI/Golf.com gang covered many elements of the return. There was this from Michael Bamberger, senior writer, Sports Illustrated:

He's been through a personal hell, major surgery, the chip yips and a bunch of other things. He played well and carried himself well and talked like a person who knows there's a mountain in front of him and he's just starting the climb. It was impressive.

Karen Crouse is rightfully a little more skeptical after last year's exciting return, followed by another back setup but ends her piece on a positive note, reminding us that Woods no longer needs to carry the sport. That should be a little less burden!

His positivity spread some holiday cheer throughout a golf industry that, as evidenced by the PGA Tour’s countdown tweets and the Golf Channel reporters’ breathless commentary, is determined to milk every last drop from its longtime cash cow.

Of course, with Woods, any glad tidings come with a caveat: If his surgically fused back is bothering him, it won’t become apparent until much later. Asked on Sunday if he was in any pain, he said he was not.

But history suggests that even if he was hurting he would not say so.

G.C. Digital with key stats from the final round for Woods, including 13/14 fairways.

His projected move back up the World Rankings has begun:

 


Here’s what a possible schedule for the season looks like, courtesy of Golfweek. Oh please don't go to the UAE. Please?

 

The recoil is back!

Mark Cannizzaro talked to Rafa Nadal as the tennis legend walked the course watching Woods for just the second time in person.

“I think this is a very important moment now for golf and himself and for all the people who love the sport in general. He’s the most charismatic star golf has had in the past 50 years or so. For everyone to see him back is something great for the sport.”

Steve Sands caught up with spectator Nadal for the broadcast:



The extended Tiger highlights in case you missed the live broadcast or replays:

 

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Reader Comments (18)

It would shock me if he doesn’t win at least 5-6 majors in 2018
12.4.2017 | Unregistered CommenterDude Lebowski
In unrelated news, a player named Richie Florence. ....ahhhh Fountain. .....Flower or something like that shot a 61 to win this tournament. The 2nd lowest score of the day was 6 shots worse.
12.4.2017 | Unregistered CommenterCroDad
Has equipment technology/fitting advanced significantly since his first back surgery, to allow a soon to be 42-year-old to keep up if not knock it by the kids? When he was in his prime, he was longer than his competition by a wide margin. Now he's even so I guess whatever happens from here boils down to skill and staying healthy. Was it just me or did it appear at times he was ripping at the ball more aggressively than the rest of the field? Fingers crossed for the day Tiger is in position to win again against any of the OWGR top-10. Will they battle him or curl up like a puppy in his presence as before? Stay tuned. I feel like I'm about to watch an old VCR tape found in the basement.
12.4.2017 | Unregistered CommenterD. maculata
CroDad, are you sure you're not making this stuff up? After all, based on the surrounding coverage(did not watch a second of this trifle), there weren't actually other players on the course...
12.4.2017 | Unregistered CommenterPat(another one)
If you guys can’t figure out why NBC/Golf Channel focused almost exclusively on Tiger in an otherwise meaningless exhibition tournament, I don’t know what to tell you. Surely that didn’t bother you? This was not a major, folks.
12.4.2017 | Unregistered CommenterSari
This is truly an orgasmic moment for golf. Paper towel shortage in Albany and at 30 Rock.
12.4.2017 | Unregistered CommenterTrinity
Like I said to my my after the 1st round- the good news is he reached a 609 yd par 5 in 2; the bad news is he reached a 609 yd par 5 in 2. I just don't see how his body can withstand that swing speed going forward.
12.4.2017 | Unregistered Commentermunihack
The entire golf media is like the guy on a second marriage...the triumph of hope over experience.
You'll get some ratings and not much else with a 42 year old and 3 back surgeries.
12.4.2017 | Unregistered Commenterjjshaka
With the improvement in conditions at Riviera, and how nicely the ball sits in the rolled and perfect manicured Kikuyu, maybe he'll consider Riviera again
12.4.2017 | Unregistered CommenterP Thomas
I have to laugh that 100% of Tiger's world ranking points (such as they are) come from the last two iterations of this event. His "ninth" place finish weekend produced as many points as a Top 10 in most of the weekly tour stops, even though he only beat 9 guys. I"m guessing his season will have ups and down, no wins - partially because he only plays the harder events to win - but a few near misses. Not enough to get a Ryder Cup spot automatically, but enough to justify a pick.
12.4.2017 | Unregistered CommenterBrianS
Good to see that he was able to play without any apparant pain.....just paying 72 holes was a big step IMHO....and overall his scores were pretty respectable all things considered....but I think we have to temper this by reminding ourselves that this was more or less a silly season event made for TV that was closer to the old Skins Game than a real PGA/USGA/R&A full field competition and course set up etc.....hopefully a good first step for Tiger but I think everything will be more telling once the real games get back on the calendar.
12.4.2017 | Unregistered CommenterKeith - NYC
@BrianS
Thanks for the input. With such insight of the unknown do you happen to have the winning numbers for the Powerball lottery? I'd appreciate it and won't foret you when I win!!!
12.4.2017 | Unregistered CommenterCroDad
@Keith-NYC +1

He played better than I thought he would. Still don't like him but he played better than I thought he would.
12.4.2017 | Unregistered CommenterJupiter
I will reserve judgement until Mid-April. This was a good first step, but nothng more. He was much better than I anticipated, and downright impressive with the driver.
12.4.2017 | Unregistered CommenterBDF
BrianS, and there is the travesty. That there are ranking points available for this tripe. Show case Woods all you want in whatever type of event, but don't hand out ranking points to a freakin' 18-man event. What is amazing is how after after two years of not being relevant in a competitive sense, he still has the networks et al. by the cojones(what little of them they have...)
12.5.2017 | Unregistered CommenterPat(another one)
It's never been about his back or his knee or any full swing stuff. He will have that for maybe 678910 years.

His touch is gone. He can't chip or putt and that's that!

Years ago, I said his best chance was to completely give up and not care at all about Jack's record and to somehow try to remember whatever love of the game he once had, score be damned. If he can do that he might quit ginching as soon as something matters to him other than skirts. And I said he needs to smoke lots and lots of dope.

So I'm not shocked one bit that he can play well in a silly season event. But he going to revert right back to try-hard failure as soon as he actually cares. So ironic that the one guy who was always most immune to choking now simply can't play a lick when it matters. Nothing about this weekend changes his yips. Nobody had tips until it matters.
12.5.2017 | Unregistered Commentershivas
How was the post-party at The Woods Jupiter?
12.6.2017 | Unregistered CommenterLA John

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