Tiger Woods is back.
Well, he’s returned to playing golf. No one knows if he’ll ever be ‘back’ – back as in, Tiger Slam. Back as in, “Tiger or the field?” Back as in, we’re watching greatness unfold.
But for this week, Tiger Woods is playing golf again. And what’s old (like him) is new again.
“Father Time is undefeated. We all eventually are losing some of the things we are able to do when we were younger,” Woods told reporters at the newly named Hero World Challenge, Woods’ own event happening at his old (there’s that word again) stomping grounds, Isleworth Golf & Country Club.
He returns after playing just seven events in the 2014 calendar year, withdrawing in two of them (The Honda Classic and WGC-Bridgestone Invitational), and missing two cuts, including one at the PGA Championship. It was his worst year a professional.
He admitted he trying coming back too quickly after a microdiscectomy surgery Woods had in the spring for a pinched nerve in his back. It was the same surgery Canadian Graham DeLaet had that sidelined him for a whole year.
“They always say not to come back until you’re ready,” DeLaet said, “but everybody does. We’re all competitors. We want to compete. But you have to listen to your body.”
Woods tried to make it back after just a few weeks.
“It was not a fun situation,” Woods admitted. “I was still playing in pain – it wasn’t the same type of pain I had earlier in the year because the surgery had fixed it, but my body just wasn’t able to hold my joints in place.”
Woods said he hasn’t had any pains lately, and was enjoying running around playing soccer with his kids.
So, no new pains, but a new coach (excuse me, swing consultant), as he announced he parted ways with Canadian Sean Foley a few months ago (colleague Rick Young from SCOREGolf.com has an excellent Q&A with Foley that you should definitely read) and has aligned himself with Chris Como, on the advice of longtime friend Notah Begay.
“I really value his (Begay’s) opinion, and we had a pretty long conversation about where I was and where I needed to go. He suggested he might know a guy named Chris Como. Eventually I came around to it,” said Woods.
So when Woods tees it up with Australian Jason Day at 12:15 EST Thursday, there will be something new for everyone to look at, break down and analyze.
“Well it is new, but it’s old,” Woods said of his swing. We looked at a lot of video from when I was a junior, in junior and amateur golf – even when I came out there and had some really nice years where I hit the ball really well.”
Tiger Woods has returned to competitive golf. Fans, media, and I’m sure Woods himself is eager to see what will happen.
Woods will also be playing a whole new set of Nike clubs this week. GolfWRX has that: