Twenty-one years after Woods shook the game’s landscape with his first, record-breaking, barrier-shattering victory in the Masters, and nearly five seasons removed from his last PGA Tour victory, his extraordinary comeback from four back surgeries is giving golf a boost many never saw coming.
No round of professional golf can be played on the Blue Course at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda without, it seems, comparing it to the events of two years ago, to the 111th U.S. Open in which Rory McIlroy appeared to make a mockery of the place.
I swore off 4:30 a.m. wakeup calls for the British Open two years ago, when Louie Oosthuizen introduced himself to the golfing world -- and me -- by winning at St. Andrews in a runaway. But back then, Tiger Woods was in the midst of what seemed to be a never-ending free fall from the top.
Can he win majors, compete at a high level and be one of the world¿s best golfers? Sure, he absolutely can. But is he back? Like Tiger back? Like every player on the course fears him back? Like never, ever blowing a lead on a Sunday back? No, and I don¿t think he ever will be.
In the old days, Tiger Woods might have won the AT&T National with ease. In the old days, Woods might not have needed his closest competitor to bogey the last three holes at Congressional Country Club.
The reverberations from what Tiger Woods did Sunday on the outskirts of Columbus, Ohio are still being felt throughout the golf world, but there¿s an even better comeback story coming to the Olympic Club in San Francisco next week. It's the story of Casey Martin.
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.
Is there TV life after Tiger Woods? It's not easy, says Tommy Roy, the executive producer of NBC's golf coverage, but with an event as large and storied as the U.S. Open, it can be done — with a little help from the golfing gods on Sunday, of course.