Ok, I admit it. I’m a Tiger fan.
There’s just something about watching arguably the greatest player to ever play the game, even if we haven’t seen him in top form for years.
While the PGA Tour season is 10 events deep, for many (me included) the golf season gets going as the PGA Tour makes its way off the island and to the West Coast Swing. We’ll see great golf courses like Pebble Beach, Riviera, Torrey Pines and this week’s venue, TPC Scottsdale. While snow will be blanketing much of the United States, the world’s best golfers will be soaking up the sun on lush green golf courses with oceanside vistas.
Traditionally Tiger Woods would start his season at Torrey Pines, a golf course he’s won on multiple times, including a U.S. Open Championship on one leg. So when Tiger announced he would make his 2015 debut at the raucaus Waste Management Phoenix Open the entire golfing world, heck sports world, took notice.
To put in perspective the impact Tiger has on a tournament, especially one like the Waste Management Phoenix Open, there could likely be more people at the TPC Scottsdale on Saturday than will attend the Super Bowl being held 30 miles away in Phoenix.
Tiger appears to be entering the 2015 calendar season in a better frame of mind. He’s laughing again and interacting with fans and media. He’s talking about a return to his old golf swing, feeling things in his swing he hasn’t felt for years. He’s longer with the driver while at the same time more consistent. Time will tell, but Tiger is posturing as if he’s ready for a big year in 2015.
It’s not going to be easy for Tiger. The competition is better and 10 to 15 years younger than the 14 time major champion. Players like Spieth, Reed, Fowler are winning golf tournaments and have proven an immunity to the Tiger affect. But it’s important to keep in mind we’re saying that when Tiger hasn’t been at his best while these young guns have been establishing themselves on the PGA Tour.
And there in lies the big question. Will we ever see Tiger Woods in a dominating position in the world of golf. How you define dominating is unique to everyone, but will Tiger return to the place where everyone in the field knows they are playing for 2nd place if Tiger is at his best?
Clearly we have more questions than answers at this point, but it’s refreshing that we’re at least able to ask the questions with Tiger Woods back inside the ropes.