After ten months of rehab, Tiger Woods is set to return to professional golf. But how will the former world number one perform? The Grateful Golfer discusses.
The 2014 golf season can only be summed up as extremely disappointing for Woods. Still ranked 43rd in the world, he has much to prove to the golfing world.
Woods’ announcement on 1 April 2014 that he would not be returning to golf was not unexpected, but nevertheless considered a disappointment. Since 2007, his body was slowly deteriorating and his back injury was just another leg of his journey.
At 39 years old, it is unclear how much longer he will be able to earn a living playing professional golf. Given his competitive spirit, only Tiger really knows when it will be time to call it quits.
Woods was very cautious with his return to golf. With a similar procedure (a microdiscectomy) as Canadian Graham DeLaet who was out of professional golf for about one year, Woods did not rush his recovery or make any promises that would add any pressure to return early. Always physically fit, he will likely return on Thursday looking like the Tiger of old. Fit, focused and hunger for limelight of the winner’s circle.
Tiger’s recent announcement of a new swing coach was met with much trepidation. Chris Como, one of Golf Digest’s “best young teachers” of 2013, has focused Woods’ efforts to regain his swing of old. After being announced as Woods’ swing coach, Como must have felt the world of expectations come crashing down on his head.
As the 2015 season unfolds, everyone will be watching and critiquing Woods’ new approach and who help engineer yet another Tiger Woods comeback.
Tiger Woods will return to professional golf this weekend at the Phoenix Waste Management Open in Scottsdale, Arizona at the TPC Sawgrass. Already considered the rowdiest event on the PGA Tour, the media frenzy of Woods’ return is only going to accentuate the craziness.
In addition, Woods and Como will be under a microscope as golfing pundits analyse, second-guess and criticise every aspect of Tiger’s game. This type of scrutiny is nothing new for Woods, but Como will experience a roller coaster ride that he cannot even image.
The golfing landscape has changed since Tiger Woods last teed it up. He had slowly lost ground to the younger players and his aura of being unbeatable is gone. He is now a mere mortal who must prove he is worthy to play in the last group on Sunday.
The field will have some notables who Woods will have to defeat to take home the $1.16 million prize money. Rickie Fowler, Jordan Spieth, Bubba Watson, Russell Knox and Patrick Reed are just some of the players who are standing in Tiger Woods’ way to success.
Tiger Woods’ return to golf is finally here. Like him or not, he is a player who is always ready to compete, knows how to win and excels under the pressure of playing professional golf.
If Tiger Woods stays healthy, he will definitely move up in the world standings, but it is unlikely regain his former glory as the number one golfer in the world!
The Grateful Golfer – Pundit Arena