After Memorial win, Tiger Woods is back. Or is he?

Tiger is back.

Tiger is not back yet.

Tiger is back.

Tiger is not back yet.

As you might be able to see, I am undecided on this popular and perplexing topic. Watching what Tiger Woods did Sunday at Muirfield Village Golf Club, coming from two shots down with four holes to play to win the Memorial Tournament and tie the event’s legendary host, Jack Nicklaus, with PGA Tour victory No. 73, brought back memories from the years when Woods was undeniably the No. 1 player in golf.

But is he again?

You can make the argument that he is. Not only has he won for the second time this year and the third time since early December, but Luke Donald, who has the No. 1 ranking, still has yet to win a major championship and Rory McIlroy, who was deemed the heir apparent at last summer'sU.S. Open, has missed the cut at his past three tournaments, including the Memorial.

I thought Tiger was back after his 5-stroke win at the Arnold Palmer Invitational in March, but he followed that up with the worst three-tournament stretch of his career – a tie for 40th at the Masters, a missed cut at Quail Hollow and a tie for 40th at the Players Championship.  But there are certainly signs pointing in that direction after what Woods did at Muirfield.

Sign No. 1: Woods won despite missing a number of short putts the first three rounds and not making any bombs Sunday. As well as Woods is hitting it from tee to green – maybe the most controlled he has been his entire career – he is no longer automatic inside 10 feet.  Yet he finished the comeback Sunday with three birdies on the last four holes.

Sign No. 2: Woods’ chip in from the heavy rough on the par-3 16th was reminiscent of his famous chip-in on the 16th at Augusta National in 2005. It was the kind of moment Woods had regularly during his dominance, but something Woods had not done in a while to fuel a comeback. The only thing missing was Verne Lundquist making one of his signature calls.

Sign No. 3: Tiger’s aura seemed to impact those at the top of the leader board. Spencer Levin, who was making nearly everything (50 of his first 55 putts inside 10 feet), fell apart early on the back nine. Rory Sabbatini, who had the late lead, started spraying the ball all over the place as soon as Woods made his charge. And did we mention that Rickie Fowler shot his highest score as a pro – 84 – playing with Tiger?

 Sign No. 4: Like the old days, Woods ignored some medical and personal problems. According to reports, Woods was suffering from the flu most of the week and was running a fever that finally broke Saturday night. There was also a report Sunday that Woods’ longtime agent, Mark Steinberg, was arrested on a DUI charge over the weekend.

As much he looked like the Tiger of old – particularly the fist-pumping histrionics after the chip-in that analyst Peter Kostis labelled “sick” – the line of demarcation in measuring how far back Woods has come will be the U.S. Open in two weeks at the Olympic Club in San Francisco. Win there, and even Nick Faldo will be ready to admit he was wrong.

I admit I was wrong. I thought his body had broken down two years ago and compared him to Ken Griffey Jr. I thought he had made a mistake staying with swing coach Sean Foley too long. I didn’t think he was going to win another major, and maybe not another tournament. But the truth is, even Woods doesn’t know whether he is back.

“’l’ll let you guys figure that out,” Woods said to the media at Muirfield.

Tiger is back.

Tiger is not back yet.

Tiger is ...

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