Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Tiger starts fresh -- again

   Tiger Woods has pronounced himself healthy again and his 2012 season begins Thursday in Abu Dhabi, an uncommon starting point for him but a testament to the power of appearance fees and playing against a field that includes Luke Donald, Rory McIlroy and Martin Kaymer, among others.

  It's time to find out how good Tiger can still be.
  Two years ago, there was the messy aftermath of his personal issues.

   Last year, there were health issues.

  This year, Woods seems fully ready to go, bolstered by a strong finish in 2011 and seemingly comfortable with his new Sean Foley-installed swing.

   He hasn't won an official PGA Tour event in 28 months. He's been stuck on 14 professional major championship victories since the 2008 U.S. Open. He hasn't won the Masters since 2005.

   Woods is 36 years old now, still in what should be the prime of his golf life, but he's an old 36 given the injuries and the stress that have been a part of his life for so long. However, he seems energized again, excited about playing golf on good legs with a swing he trusts and a renewed confidence.

   There's still time for him to chase down Nicklaus's major championship record but the past three years have made it more difficult. We've seen him at his best so infrequently over the past two years that it's like we've gotten accustomed to the sport without him.

   He's back now. Is he as good as ever? Can he be?

   That's what 2012 should tell Tiger and the rest of us.



Anonymous said...

Aarg! I guess the Tiger Golf Channel is back in full swing this week.