So Tiger Woods is hurt. And you know that already. If you did not then you have been living under a rock for the last 8 months. But Tiger blew his knee out last year and decided to have yet another surgery to fix this always aching issue. He decided to take half of the season off last year, get the surgery, make another baby, and spend time with his wife child. (This is not children. Charlie is the newest addition to the Woods family.)
So Tiger decides a couple of weeks ago that he is ready to come back. He decided that the WGC, which he wins almost every one of these he enters, is where he will return to the game. This event, starting on Wednesday and being an all around match play event (where Tiger has a very good record only having lost 7 total times in match play) and is in the middle of the hot Arizona desert offering lots of hills and awkward lies to test and stretch this knee of his.
He comes back and when he announces that he is back he has nothing but speculation and concern on the timing of his return. Is he coming back too soon some say. Is he ready to play? Is he ready to win? Is he ready to be the same Tiger we are used to seeing? Hell yes he is.
Tiger would not put himself in a position to play unless he knew he could win. Tiger does that you know. He is a winner. He does not play to just get the exercise or the exposure. I am pretty sure he gets enough of that the way it is. Tiger plays with one goal in mind and that is to win. On Sunday, in his Nike red, he wants to be holding the trophy at the end of the day. If he is not, well, then there is something wrong.
But this event brings some good questions to my mind in regards to his return. First, the timing. Sure, he has been out of competition for 8 months and not swung a club in front of a camera in nearly a year, but I knew he was ready. Again, going back to the whole “I am a winner” thing. But that is not what I am interested in. I am interested in the fact that he is coming back now, to a match play event, that is a non sanctioned PGA event (which means that if he wins or looses it is irregardless) and one at which provides a hilly and unstable course to test that said knee. So, if Tiger goes out and shoots 75 who knows? No one does. All that matters is that he is 1 or more up at the end of regulation.
Now, one more thing that interests me about his return. The critics. They are insane when it comes to finding a way to tear this man down. He is a beast, people. Have you not realized that yet? He is a machine that just happens to be married to a super model wife. He throws darts at every green. He hits bombs off the tee. And he can win a major with a broken leg if he has to. (He did, remember?) So leave the man alone.
I saw an article today on Yahoo! Sports (a pretty respectable place to find information regarding sports and stories related to these sports) and the headline for his most recent knockout (Tim Clarke knocked Tiger out of the WGC this year. He beat him 4&2 and played an almost perfect round of golf compared to Tiger’s mediocre display of golf) said “Tiger is Finally Tamed.” Are you kidding me? Tiger is finally tamed? From what? An 8 month drought? Stress on his knee? The lack of competition that a guy that breathes on competition lives for? I mean, what is he tamed from? Because it is sure not golf. It is sure not being the number 1 player in the world. (By the way, Tiger still is ranked number 1 in the world. He was out 8 full months from competition and he is still ranked number 1. That speaks loud and clear to anyone that has a clue about what they are speaking of.)
All in all I am glad that Tiger is back. I am going to go on record right now and say that Tiger will win 5-7 times this year. He will win 1-2 majors this year. And he will be back, better than ever, and ready to take a run at the Grand Slam in the next couple three years. He is back people, and if his knee is as good as his doctors and he says it is, there are going to be a lot of guys playing for second place. I am not even positive that we have seen a healthy Tiger before. Not at 100%. But he claims he is there now. Yeah, PGA, time to move over and let Tiger do what he knows how to do. Win.