It’s still early on in the tournament, but folks are already wondering, “Is Tiger Woods finally back?” This is Woods’ fifth comeback since his initial back surgery in 2014, and when he stepped up to the tee on Thursday in the Bahamas, he not only appeared to be in fine form, but his opening drive also seemed to suggest that he was indeed ready to take on the world in golf once again.
Before even stepping onto the green on Thursday, Woods had a reputation already festering as someone who will knock their socks off on the golf course in the coming days. Golfer Justin Thomas, who is paired with Woods on Thursday, told reporters that golf fans “will be shocked at how good his game looks,” reports the Kansas City Star. If he is already getting wows from the professionals when it comes to his game, what will he bring to this week’s tournament?
Still, others were a bit more conservative when it came to getting their hopes up, like Doug Ferguson, who writes for Stuff Sports. Ferguson suggests the golf fans keep an eye out on how long Tiger lasts rather than his golf score. This is taking into considering how his comeback in February ended with Woods withdrawing out of the Dubai Desert Classic due to back spasms.
Jordan Spieth, who is currently ranked 2nd on the PGA Golf Tour, echoed Thomas’s thoughts on Woods.
Spieth said, “He seems more confident this year the way he’s walking and talking.”
Before this, Woods had no choice but to follow doctor’s orders, but now he is given the OK to go full steam ahead, Spieth thinks it is an exciting time for Woods. The Hero World Challenge teed off today, Thursday, at the Albany Golf Club in the Bahamas. It was Woods’ opening drive, which can be seen below in the Twitter post, is already making a buzz. The video above at the top of the article is Tiger Woods during his practice round this week.
And he's back!
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) November 30, 2017
Woods is playing against a field of 18 golfers, which includes eight of the top-nine golfers in the world. Woods is currently placed at 1199 for the top golfers in the world. But even if Woods finishes last, he will move up that list 200 spots into the top 1,000 golfers in the world. After spending 683 weeks as the No. 1 golfer in the world, this seems a bit odd, suggests Stuff Sports.
So what is fueling Tiger suddenly bringing a spark to his game?
Brad Faxon, who played with Woods along with Donald Trump and Dustin Johnson last week, said Woods “looked at ease and held nothing back in his swing, especially with the driver,” reports Stuff Sports. It could very well be that the friendly games Woods took part of in the past week have put him at ease and fans are seeing the result of this during Thursday’s opening round.
According to Brad Faxon, Woods outdrove Dustin Johnson “half the time” during their round with Donald Trump, reported Golf Digest. Johnson is currently ranked the No. 1 golfer in the world, according to the Official World Golf Ranking website. Faxon also suggested that Woods appeared finally pain-free, which would be a plus for his game.
So maybe that round of golf with Donald Trump had some lingering effects for Tiger Woods with his start in the tournament on Thursday in the Bahamas. They say it was friendly and it put him at ease, so it could be there’s a bit of a lingering effect from those hours with Trump out on the greens.