Monday, January 24, 2011

Tiger, Phil Make This Week The Real Start Of 2011

   Officially three weeks old, the 2011 PGA Tour season really starts this week when Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson arrive at Torrey Pines for the Farmers Insurance Open.

   Much has been made about the fact Woods has now fallen to third in the world rankings behind Lee Westwood and Martin Kaymer, who seems to win every time he tees it up, but Mickelson has fallen out of the top five, now occupying the sixth spot.

  Nothing against Johnny Vegas and his orange shirt winning the Bob Hope on Sunday, but getting Tiger and Phil back changes the landscape. Woods is a curiosity now. He didn't win last year and lost a playoff to Graeme McDowell the last time we saw him. Now it's 2011 and a fresh start.

   Suppose Woods wins this week. He will immediately become the favorite to win the Masters in April and there will be plenty of chatter about how he's back. If he wins, it will be interesting to see what the reaction is from fans and what Woods says about it. With no NFL playoffs this weekend, the television ratings will also get close attention if Woods is in the chase.

  If he scrapes it around again, unnecessary alarm bells will ring.

   Mickelson, meanwhile, returns from a so-so week in Abu Dhabi still searching for the form that was missing for a good portion of last season. He needs to jump start his 2011 season and Torrey Pines would be the perfect place to do it.

   It's nice to have them back.




Alan Codkind said...

Definitely ready for the start of the season, especially since I live in the NC mountains and am just getting my car down the driveway. But will be at the PGA show in Orlando this week so it will feel great to get out on the course.