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The New and Old Tiger Woods is Back

December 5th, 2011 · No Comments

Tiger Woods broke his victory drought with two closing birdies on putts of 13 and 10 feet to win the Chevron World Challenge. Yipee!

This is great for golf, and it is great for Woods because he is a momentum player, and this W is a significant step towards rebuilding his career momentum – something that was lost on the fateful night two years ago in Florida.

Looking ahead, it is not hard to imagine a big year for Woods in 2012. Two or three PGA Tour wins now seems very doable, and he should certainly grace the leaderboard of at least a couple of majors. This forecast is not based on tea leaves, but rather on recent evidence.

At Sherwood his iron game was, at times, spectacular. The facts: he scored two eagles and 20 birdies, an average of 5.5 per day. His short game was brilliant at times, and his stinger tee shots enabled him to consistently find the fairway when he was in a strategic mode. His continuing weakness is his driver, a club he may never master.

Woods victory was a combination of the new, his Sean Foley Swing, and the old, his competitive fire. While he was in the apologetic soul searching phase of his comeback, Woods said he would no longer engage in such exuberant celebrations, but his over-the-top fist pumps were on full display on the last two greens.

Y.E. Yang, at the 2009 PGA accused Woods of gamesmanship, that he stood too close to him at times. Evidently he is still practicing the subtle art despite the nice guy image he is promoting. On the final hole, while Zach Johnson was setting up to putt, Woods positioned himself directly in front of his opponent, and only about 15 feet away. Did this bother Johnson? Who knows for sure, but his 15 foot putt was not even close.

This season was the year of the break out for the next generation of superstars, lead by Masters winner Charl Schwartzel and Rory McIlroy, the US Open champion. Now, it appears as a soon to be 36 year old Tiger Woods is ready to rejoin the mix at the top of the game.

We have much to look forward to in 2012, including the build up to the 2012 Masters, which is a scant 17 weeks away. And now, with the resumption of Woods’ quest to beat Jack Nicklaus’ major winning record in earnest, next year is shaping up as one of the best season’s in recent memory.

Tags: The Game · Tiger vs. Jack

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