We are just moments away from the first Major of the season, The Masters. The excitement around The Masters is unlike any other golf Major. This year the excitement and anticipation are heightened by thoughts of “Could he? Surely he can’t? What if he does?”
All these questions point in the direction of one man, a man who for so many of us (myself included) is the reason they first picked up a golf club. The man who will go down as probably the greatest player in the games history, Tiger Woods.
Tiger’s recent off course incidents have certainly cast a shadow over his legacy. One thing that few could dispute is his contribution to golf and the sheer dominance he displayed for such a long time. We will never see the likes of it again. Golf is thriving at the moment, we find ourselves in a position where realistically a large number of players will turn up on Thursday morning with a great chance of winning.
Since suffering what looked to be a career ending back injury, Tiger’s performances have done little to give you hope that he could ever return to the sort of form which has seen him collect the green jacket 4 times in his career.
He has been written off, no one truly believed we would ever see a competitive Tiger Woods again and I have to say I was beginning to feel that way myself.
A large part of me felt like maybe he should call it time. In my opinion, he is the greatest there has ever been and seeing him come back and play the way he did was horrible to watch. Seeing him struggling to complete a round was not the Tiger I wanted to remember.
When he made his latest return at The Hero World Challenge, it very much felt like this was last chance saloon for Tiger. If his body couldn’t take it, surely he would have to call it time on his incredible career. Tiger posted rounds of 69-68-75-68. A solid -8 for the week and a competitive 9th place finish. This was a great result given all that had happened before.
To complete four rounds and post a very competitive score was more than anyone expected from him. Tiger followed this by posting a respectable -3 at the Farmers Insurance Open finishing 23rd.
This was the first time since 2015 Tiger had completed 4 rounds of golf in back to back competitions. That in itself was an achievement for him. The doubts as to whether his body could take it were starting to fade.
We now find ourselves looking ahead to The Masters having seen Tiger finish, 12th, 2nd and 5th in his most recent starts. We are beginning to see Tiger performing at a level which is competitive and for all us Tiger fans, all we could have asked for. In relation to his body and how it would cope with the strains of competitive golf, his drive on the par-5 14th at the Valspar Championship, registered a clubhead speed of 129.2 mph â€” the fastest swing recorded by any pro on the PGA Tour this season.
Tiger is back and on everything we have seen this year his body is also in a condition which allows him to compete at the highest level.
All this leads us back to those questions I posed earlier; “Could he? Surely he can’t? What if he does?”
One thing is for sure, he definitely can. Tiger has shown he is back to a level where his body can compete and his game has gone from strength to strength. What if he does? Tiger fans for so long have waited for Tiger to come back in this shape. All we want now is to see the famous red and black to be walking up the 18th fairway late on Sunday evening in with a chance. Sergio Garcia’s win last year was something that was long overdue, and he duly got the reception he deserved.
Tiger winning this year’s Masters would evoke celebrations unlike the sort normally seen at a golf tournament. I suspect there wouldn’t be a dry eye in the house. For all us Tiger fans who have waited for what seems an eternity to see him back playing competitive golf, this would cap it all and would be well and truly worth the wait.