Monday, March 15, 2010

Will Tiger Play Masters Then Quail Hollow?

It’sstill largely guesswork at this point but I think Tiger Woods is going to take a pass on playing the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill next week and make his return to golf at the Masters.

And if he does, it raises the possibility that the Quail Hollow Championship could be the first regular tour event Woods plays.

They’re making contingency plans at Quail Hollow in the event Woods decides to play here and, it’s safe to assume, that Bay Hill is doing the same thing.

Woods and his camp have said nothing publicly about when he will return to golf but it’s obvious he’s preparing to play again. There’s a chance he could play the two-day Tavistock Cup with his buddies at Isleworth next Monday and Tuesday but making the Masters his debut seems more likely.

Initially, the idea that Woods would show up first at Augusta and bring all that comes with him to the Masters seemed unlikely.

The Masters isn’t a place for sideshows and there’s no way Woods can play without bringing a circus to town with him. But it’s going to be that way wherever he plays, at least for a while, and at the Masters, it will be easier to contain the craziness.

Media credentials are limited at the Masters, making it virtually impossible for the TMZs of the world to get access inside the media center.

The tournament also has a different clientele. That doesn’t mean some of the patrons won’t get a little chatty when Tiger walks by but it won’t be like Saturday at Phoenix. The Masters will make sure of it.

The Masters is the closest thing to a controlled environment in tournament golf, which makes it a logical place for Woods to return. Every effort will be made by the tournament to make sure he’s as comfortable as he can be.

It will be a huge moment when Woods returns. CBS president Sean McManus was quoted recently saying it may be the biggest television moment of the past decade aside from the Obama election.

Imagine the ratings if Woods were to return at Augusta and win there.

Woods hasn’t played competitively since last fall but he’s had long layoffs before major championships before. He missed the cut at the U.S. Open after his father’s death in 2006 and he took two months off before returning to win the Open at Torrey Pines on a broken leg nearly two years ago.

If Woods returns at Bay Hill or the Masters, the Quail Hollow Championship -- three weeks after Augusta -- suddenly comes into the picture. He’s made it a regular stop, missing it only because of his father’s death and knee surgery, since he first played here in 2004.

If it’s his first regular tour event, the media storm will be intense. So will the fan interest.


Anonymous said...


Mealy sports writers who beg may come to his Bay Hill Fl home and wash his Escapade he just got fixed at the body shop. He may need a shoe shine. His cash is running out so he may only tip you a dollar if you lucky. He has a big beer gut and cant pick up on 40 yr old Waffle House fat waitresses these days either. Nomore roids.
Everything could get repossessed so hurry.