It should be said the Tiger Woods’ comeback is complete, except for the fact that his and every golf fan’s expectations of him are beyond belief.
He had, by most PGA touring professional’s standards, a great year.
He did not win, but he finished high in the British Open, leading at one point in the final round. He finished second in the US PGA in August and at one point, carded a 62 for his opening round in golf’s last Major of the year.
He won almost $US 4 million this year.
All those accomplishments fade, however, as he earned a pick for US Ryder Cup Captain Jim Furyk to take part in the most prestigious match play team competition in the sport.
Watching him closely during the season, his ball striking was ridiculous, it was so good. He routinely his approach shots to kick-in distances. If there was one thing that held him back, it was that he did not seem able to convert the birdie putts from 10 – 20 feet that were his hallmark during his heyday.
Woods is rejuvenated by the discovery that his surgically repaired back is responding to his rehabilitation efforts and has gotten to the point where he does not have to dread every swing.
It (disc fusion surgery) was a last-ditch effort,” Woods said. “I tried everything else because fusion is the last-ditch effort and nothing beyond that. So didn’t know what my playing career would be like. This is all uncharted territory.”
Woods now has the conviction that he can catch Sam Snead’s mark of 82 PGA victories. Woods is on 79. He needs four more Majors to catch jack Nicklaus, but if his putting comes around to match his ball striking, he could do that in one season, although if it took him two or three seasons, it would suffice.
Earning a spot on the Ryder Cup squad is the feather on the cake or the icing on the cap and Woods’ ability to seize control in crucial moments might see the US retain the Ryder Cup that has gone to Europe many times in recent memory.