Is Tiger Woods' Return Closer Than We Think?

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Is Tiger Woods' Return Closer Than We Think?

Golf

Is Tiger Woods' Return Closer Than We Think?

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For the first time since his devastating car accident in February, Tiger Woods sat in front of a podium on Tuesday and addressed the media. It was at the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas, where he hosted an event for his foundation. Mentally, it seemed that Woods was in a good place, cracking some jokes about how ripped his triceps are from walking on crutches. It seemed Tiger was glad to be in his natural habitat. About a week before this interview, Woods posted a short clip of him hitting a single iron shot that made golf fans go nuts. Up to that point nobody really knew the condition Tiger was in. After his interview on Tuesday, Tiger was seen piping his 3-wood on the driving range, and let me just tell you, his swing looks good. A reporter asked Tiger if it’s too early to have targeted tournaments to zero in on such as PNC, Augusta etc. in which Tiger replied, “I’ll put it to you this way, as far as playing at the Tour level, I don’t know when that’s going to happen. Now, I’ll play a round here or there, a little hit-and-giggle. I can do something like that.” Woods said. “To see some of my shots fall out of the sky a lot shorter than they used too, it’s a little eye opening.”

Now the question is when and where do we get to see Tiger tee off next. Based on that quote, we obviously are not going to be seeing Tiger compete in 15-20 events per year, more likely 6-10 events picking and choosing what he wants. Given the rules and pace-of-play of the PNC Championship, there has been speculation going around that we could possibly see Tiger compete there with his son Charlie later this month. The PNC is 36 hole, scramble format tournament, where you team up with a family member. It is more of a family fun, low pressure event, and some may call it  a “little hit-and-giggle.” Now, Tiger did say in his interview that he is only about halfway to being 100 percent, but from the literal three swings I have seen on Twitter from Tiger I fully believe he could play with Charlie in three weeks, especially if they grant him a cart to use, and he’s not driving the ball off the tee box. 

Now, if Tiger decides to give his leg some more rest, which is likely, what would be next? I think the next closest event that Tiger would consider is the Genesis Invitational in February. This is another event that the Tiger Woods foundation hosts every year. Riviera Country Club is also where Tiger made his PGA tour debut back in 1992. Maybe some sentimental ties for Tiger? The question will be is two months enough time for Tiger to feel better about hitting the driver. Probably not. In that case, the next two events we would most likely see Tiger is March 10, TPC Sawgrass for THE PLAYERS Championship, and April 7, Augusta National for The Masters. It’s almost a given that we see Tiger compete in at least one of these events. If you were to ask me which one is more likely, it’s 100% the Masters tournament. You can argue some of Tiger’s most memorable moments have come from Augusta, including his triumphant win in 2019 after coming back from injury. With all that being said, wherever and whenever Tiger tees up next, it will be one of the biggest stories not only in Golf, but in all sports across the world. 

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