To see Tiger's official tour dates that have been announced, click here.
It’s official. Tiger Woods will be playing professional golf again at the first PGA event of the 2016-2017 wraparound season, which is next week’s Safeway Open in Napa, California.
Woods has been sidelined over the past few years with a laundry list of injuries that have forced him to have three surgeries over a twenty-month span. We haven’t seen Tiger win on the PGA Tour since the 2013 Bridgestone Invitational. We haven’t even seen Tiger play in a professional tournament since the Wyndham Invitational in August of 2015, where he tied for a tenth-place finish. That means it’s been more than FOURTEEN months since the greatest golfer of the modern era has teed it up in something more than a practice round.
Now, Woods isn’t unfamiliar with making a comeback after an injury. In 2007, Woods said he tore his ACL, yet chose not to have surgery on it until the following year. What did he do while playing on a torn ACL? He won five out of his first six events after the injury.
In the past, Woods has been able to overcome these injuries with unbelievable feats of athleticism but at 40 years old, can Tiger do it again? It seems with this injury that Tiger has taken all the time he needed to rehabilitate his surgically repaired back and that he is focused on easing back onto the PGA Tour.
Jesper Parnevik, a friend of Tiger and winner on the PGA Tour, said to Golf Digest, “He’s hitting a lot of balls, and he’s hitting it great. He’s pounding it a mile and flushing everything. Comebacks are never a sure thing, but something tells me that his may be spectacular.” Now what does that mean? Absolutely nothing. I had two hole-in-ones at mini golf last week but I’m not signing up for the PGA Tour anytime soon.
But what can we honestly expect from Tiger Woods? It’s been three years since we’ve seen Tiger win. Yes, he’s won 79 times on the PGA Tour, including 14 of those being Major Championships, but the Tiger we have come to know and love is most likely gone. That doesn’t mean we won’t see him win ever again. In fact, I think that barring injury he will win a tournament on the PGA Tour next season and will win another major before he hangs up the spikes. But the ferocious Tiger that spent every waking moment thinking about golf, and completely dominating every tournament he played in; that Tiger is gone.
Bold Prediction: Tiger finishes top ten next week and we can all jump aboard the "Tiger Woods is back" hype train.
Now excuse me while I put on my Sunday Red and watch highlights of mid 2000’s Tiger Woods...