“Is Tiger Woods back?”
That is the question that has been asked with each and every PGA Tour victory that Tiger has racked up since winning his last major title at the 2008 US Open. He won six tournaments in 2009 before the news of his countless marital infidelities broke in November and spread like wildfire while his reputation went up in flames.
After taking time off to heal his physical ailments and put his personal life back together, it took two years for him to get back to where he wanted to be competitively.
So now, when people ask the question “Is Tiger back?” they are usually referring to the Tiger from the early 2000′s who was the most dominant golfer that we had ever seen. He will most likely never get back to being that guy.
With that being said, he has had a fine season. He has won five tournaments, including several high-profile events, finished tied for fourth at The Masters and tied for sixth at The Open Championship and is back to being the top ranked player in the world. But we’ve never measured Tiger by how many times he has won a World Golf Championship event, we’ve always measured him in terms of the number of major tournament titles.
Five years ago, the question was not “if” he would break Jack Nicklaus’ record of 18 major victories, the question was ”when.” Now at age 37, history suggests that his prime is behind him and he is 0-for-17 in majors since the 2008 US Open victory at Torrey Pines.
As he heads into the final major of the season with the PGA Championship being held this week at Oak Hill CC in Rochester, NY, he has to know that winning the tournament and finally ending this major’s winless streak would not only get him back on track in his quest to run down The Golden Bear, but it would cease the debate, at least temporarily, to the question of whether or not he is “back.”
So while he is saying the right thing in that this is a successful year no matter what happens this weekend, we know that the competitive fire that has always driven Tiger Woods is eating at him and that he doesn’t want to finish another PGA season without a major win.
For the full recap of his Tuesday afternoon press conference at Oak Hill, follow the link: