As we sit here this morning and wait for Tiger Woods to put the finishing touches on the Farmers Insurance Open for what seems like Woods’ 700th victory at Torrey Pines, the inevitable question is already popping up.
Is Tiger Woods back?
After all, Woods won three times on tour last season, contended a lot in the post-season and now starts this year with a victory. So he’s back, right?
Well, not quite.
True, Woods is wining again, and this particular victory looks a lot more like vintage Woods than some of his wins last year. This was more the dominant style of victory.
But remember, Woods missed a cut last week in Abu Dhabi, the first time he’s every missed a cut on the European Tour. Yes, a two-shot penalty aided in that missed cut, but Tiger Woods of old would not have been in a position where a two-shot penalty would have been the different between playing on the weekend or taking a early flight home.
And remember this. It has been four and a half years since Woods won a major championship. Four and a half years!!!! That’s unbelievable, but it was the 2008 U.S. Open (gee, what a surprise, at Torrey Pines) where Woods picked up his 14 and to this point last major win.
Listen, Woods may well be back. But until he wins another major, it will hang over him. So when he win that major (the Masters in 10 weeks?) I’ll be there to say that Woods is again at the top of the game. For now, I’m willing to say he is once again very, very, very good at professional golf.