Is 2013 finally the PGA season in which Tiger Woods recovers from his physical ailments and off the course issues and regains his grip on Worlds Best Player? If today was any indication, it just might be. Woods hasn’t won a major since 2008 (George W. Bush was still president), has only won 3 tournaments since “the incident” around Thanksgiving 2009, with only 13 Top 10 finishes over the same timeframe (he had 14 in 2009 alone). Today, on one of his favorite courses (Torey Pines, 7 career wins), Woods looked like the world beater of old with a 7-under 65 in finishing at 11-under par for 36-holes at the Farmers Insurance Open (ba-ba-ba-dumba-pa). He’s in the lead at the turn, with relative unknowns Horschel, Compton, Fritsch, and Teater among a group 2-shots or more behind. This isn’t a minor tournament, though, to say the least, with bigger names like Dustin Johnson, Ricky Fowler, Hunter Mahan, and Phil Mickelson well down the leaderboard.
With the lifetime Majors title seeming like an absolute certainty just 4 years ago, there are now questions whether Tiger Woods can be the physical, mental, and emotional player he was 10 years ago. Now, at the age of 37, he has plenty more opportunities left, but the invincibility factor is gone. He trails Jack Nicklaus by 4; the Golden Bear had the same total at that age.
The golf world (and particularly the TV networks that carry it) would love to see Tiger back at his old playing level, one can only imagine the TV ratings of Woods and Rory McIlroy in the last pairing of a major playing shot for shot. Especially if it’s the Masters or British Open.
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