Fore! Tiger Woods plays through PGA Tour return with C-plus game
Yes, Tiger Woods won his first match at the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship. But if you bothered to look beyond his birdie-eagle start Wednesday, you saw a golf superstar so far off his game that I bet it even surprised Woods.
Did you see some of those wild shots he hit Thursday (actually, both days)? It would be hard to pick which one was the worst. Hey, that Nike commercial was great, you know the one where everybody’s having a great time, and then suddenly Woods walks in and the locker room goes silent? Well, maybe the students are still shooting a spitball or two while the teacher has his backed turned …
Go ask any athlete, any sport. Once a knee undergoes major surgery, it’s never quite the same. Certainly not eight months after waking up from the anesthesia. Just ask Ernie Els; it took him about two years to regain his true form after tearing up his knee.
Woods won’t need that long, but I’d give him a C-plus for his initial comeback. I’d wager to say he isn’t going to have his A game back until after the U.S. Open at the earliest.
So lower the Tiger bar until then. And give Tim Clark credit, too. He sensed weakness in Woods and raised his game to beat him soundly. (I’d consider the pesky Clark for your Masters pool, too. He’s tied for 13th twice and was second in 2006 at Augusta National.)
Still, it was the perfect PGA Tour event for Woods to make his return. Oh, he’ll win this year, based on the simple fact he doesn’t need his best game to beat any of these guys. But I’ll stick by my prediction from a couple months ago that Woods won’t win a major this year.
Sorry, but Tiger still has a lot of work to do to get his game and knee back in gear.
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