Hate To Say It, But Tiger Woods Isn’t Back…Yet

So Tiger Woods had quite the weekend at the Valspar Championship finishing tied for 2nd.  Paul Casey had a wild -6 on Sunday to claim the victory and it got me thinking…Tiger Woods isn’t quite back.

Yes, we finally had some intrigue watching a non-major tournament thanks to Tiger but he still isn’t the dominant Tiger we fell in love with years ago.  I’ll be the first to admit that he’s great for the game of golf.  Golf needs Tiger and the numbers confirm this.  There was a 181% increase in viewership of the Valspar Championship from a year ago thanks to Tiger’s run.  Yes 181% is correct, not a typo.

He may physically be there and playing but we all know that he isn’t back.  He did make a clutch 44 foot birdie putt and made some excellent shots but when I watched him on Sunday, I didn’t see the same Tiger mystique that I saw years ago.  That finishing mentality, that look he’d give as if he was saying get out of my way.  So while he’s physically back, he’s not mentally back.  However; this is a step in the right direction for Tiger.  He got us to say “Boy, I can’t wait to watch the 4th round of the Valspar Championship”.  The Valspar Championship isn’t normally a “must see” event but Tiger sure made it one.

On Course Struggles

Tiger hasn’t won a tournament since 2013, and hasn’t won a major since 2008.  Ironically, the day after the U.S. Open in 2008 is when the PGA Tour started drug testing and Tiger hasn’t won a major since that U.S. Open, funny how that works.  I’m not saying he was on anything but you expect me to believe that he was able to compete in a major tournament with a TORN ACL with no help!?  He’s since also had multiple back surgeries, failed relationships and a DUI.  It’s safe to say he spiraled out of control and he knew it.

Now he’s trying to fix his image and become the face of golf again when in all actuality, he never left as the face of golf.  Even after all of his character issues, people were still clamoring for him to come back because he’s that important to the game of golf.  Now that he’s had one good run in a tournament we’re ready to anoint him to the top of the hill again?  He’s the 149th ranked golfer in the world and hasn’t done anything in 5 years other than get in trouble.  Once I see some consistency out of him then I’ll be a believer again, but for now I think he caught lightning in a bottle.  We’ve seen him on runs before, but I need to see it consistently.

Golf Needs Tiger Back

I love watching Jordan, Jason, Rickie, and the other big names in golf play but golf needs that dominant force back.  As I said in my Honda Classic preview, I hate to say it but Tiger isn’t back, and the sport of golf desperately needs him back.  I hope he has it figured it out but I just don’t see it…yet.  What he ultimately needs is to chase down Jack’s major record again and not worry about his image so much.

 

Brian Berard (@RockyBerard)

 

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