With about 500,000 blog entries, online posts, and articles written about Tiger Woods since he last hit a competitive golf shot, let's face it, you're still gonna read one more. Here is my take on The Big Cat.
As a 36 year old, I grew up playing golf and watching Tiger Woods... and when I say watching, I mean screaming loudly at my TV as I watched him pull off shot after shot of magic. Even as a youngster, with very little frame of reference, I knew this was an amazing time to be alive. In fact, I would yell those very words at my television.
If you take some time to watch those shots, you will find that Tiger was apparently able to will the golf ball into the hole with his mind! Did you see that putt on 18 at the 2008 US Open? How could you "Expect anything different?" What about that chip at the 2005 Masters? Or when he raised the roof at the biggest party in golf? Tiger is not simply "Better than most," he is the best.
I mean, you'd have to be a damned fool to believe that Tiger Woods will not win another golf tournament, or another major, before his time is done, right? Unfortunately, over the past several years, Tiger has given us reason to doubt. We have all seen the timelines, the injuries, the missed cuts. The fall from grace and the time away from the game was tough for Tiger fans.
But even as the 898th ranked player in the world, I continue to believe. There is a reason that Tiger still continues to command a tremendous audience. There is a reason that "Tiger hits a chip shot" will always outperform "Pampling wins on the PGA Tour for the 1st time in 10 years." The last time we saw a comeback of a similar magnitude, he came in T4th at The Masters. We all know deep down, you simply can't count this man out.
I think most of us can agree that with this recent injury, that would have ended the career of any normal athlete, the days of total Tiger domination are beyond us. But with a long pause, I believe Tiger has taken the appropriate amount of time to consult with the golden rule.
Even though there is a bit of humor in that last quote, I can't force myself to believe anything else. The world's most glorious golfing mind has certainly found a way to embrace his age, leverage his ego, and tap into his tremendous passion to win. I am very excited to watch it all begin to unfold this Thursday and I am more than ready to yell "What a great time to be alive" at my TV again.