The game of golf is arguably better when a star golfer like Tiger Woods is in the game, but should people immediately apply their old assumptions and judgments to his comeback?
Last week it was announced that Tiger is set to return on October 13 for a PGA Tour, which comes six months exactly before the final round of next year’s Master Tournament. He’s planning on playing at least three times before the end of 2016.
Woods hasn’t played in nearly 14 months, and with today’s constant 24/7 play-by-play analysis, the sports media will surely apply their share of criticism. Which is why we need to give him a hot second.
Judging him by a single swing or even tournament would be hasty in determining his future performance level. After all, he’s now had three microdiscectomy back surgeries. And he will be competing against successful players like Jordan Spieth and Jason Day.
“My rehabilitation is to the point where I’m comfortable making plans, but I still have work to do,” Woods said. He also says he doesn’t regret returning prematurely. “It was difficult missing tournaments that are important to me, but this time I was smart about my recovery and didn’t rush it.”
Woods hasn’t won a major since 2008 at the Us Open. His last top 10 in a major was three years ago when he tied for sixth at the British Open.
“I think the hardest thing for him is just to try and get the rust out and really get back to game ready sharpness, which is obviously a difficult thing to do,” said world ranked No. 1 Jason Day. “Although we’re expecting big things from him, I don’t expect too much from him, even though he is Tiger Woods. It’s hard to say that. But it’s always tough to come back.”
Hopefully his overall impressive career won’t be tarnished with his return. But one thing is certain – he will undoubtedly drive up ticket sales and TV ratings this upcoming season.
The 40-year old 14-time major victor will be traveling to the Silverado Resort and Spa in Napa, California for his first PGA appearance at the Safeway Open.