Bob Harig at ESPN.com assesses what we’ve seen from Tiger since landing in Japan and revealing how long the surgically repaired knee has been an issue. While Harig sets a low bar, it’s the right one given this being Woods’ first start since August and also likely his last until December’s Hero World Challenge.
He acknowledged Monday that the knee surgery he had in August was something he meant to do a year ago, but put it off after winning the Tour Championship. After capturing the Masters, his knee slowly got worse, to the point that it was difficult for him to squat and read putts.
He said the knee pain and uneasy walking led to other issues with his back. He also withdrew from a tournament with an oblique injury.
Perhaps this is the explanation for Woods looking out of sorts for most of the summer. Why the back stiffness and unsteady gait led to some unseemly scores, especially for the Masters champion. And maybe it is why he seemed so at ease Monday, knowing that things are on the right path.
He did look genuinely at ease walking, swinging and playing the role of entertainer. That certainly was a far cry from the gimpy, bruised-and-battered looking golfer we saw post-Masters. Add it all up and this increases the intrigue around his Presidents Cup captain’s pick status and more importantly, 2020.