Thursday, April 15, 2010

Woods Taking Next Necessary Step At Quail

Talking to Jim Furyk Thursday afternoon about Tiger Woods' announcement that he will play the Quail Hollow Championship in two weeks, Furyk said it's good to see Woods playing again then said of the announcement timing, "It's a day earlier than usual."

Told it's eight days before the entry deadine, which Woods usually pushes, Furyk realized it was a break from the norm for his friend.

"That's actually nice to get that over with and move on," Furyk said.

Then Furyk added he'd be glad when guys like me quit asking him about Tiger's return.

Me, too.

That's another good thing about Woods' early announcement he'll play in Charlotte. It's another step in the process of bringing a sense of normalcy back to his presence on the PGA Tour.

The Masters was an enormous step.

Quail Hollow is the next necessary step. It will still feel overwrought because it will be his first 'regular' tour event and it will provide access to another audience that wasn't at Augusta.

I've already had messages from people who say they're looking forward to going to Quail Hollow and heckling Woods. Sure they are. It's easy to say. Harder to do. And, really, why would you?

I suspect Woods will be treated at Quail Hollow the way he was at the Masters -- appreciatively. A few yahoos may bark something at him, especially if they have a few beers, but I think it will be very minimal. That becomes their issue, not his.

It's great for the Quail Hollow Championship that Woods is playing there. With Phil Mickelson playing for the first time since the Masters, the buzz factor will be near an all-time high at Quail.

This is a one step at a time process for Woods. He's moving along. The next step comes in Charlotte. That's a good place to take it.

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