Prior to the start of the Frys.com Open in early October, Tiger Woods told the media members assembled in the press room that more than anything else, he needed an increased number of "reps" before he could be competitive again.
While it's hard to believe a lot of what Woods has said about his game over the last year -- he said his game was close on numerous occasions when the results said otherwise -- Friday's 5-under 67 at the Chevron World Challenge made you believe that maybe, just maybe, he was right all along.
Playing in his third event in a four-week span, Woods grabbed the 36-hole lead for the second consecutive event. The highlights of the round included eagles on the 2nd and 11th holes, and an incredible flop shot from behind the 13th green that came within an inch of going in for a third eagle of the day.
The round once again reinforced what most were already thinking, that Tiger Woods is getting ever-closer to making a return to the winner's circle. But if there was one shot on Friday that made you believe this really could be the week he puts it all together, it was the final putt on the 18th hole.
It wasn't a putt many will remember from Woods' round, but the 10-footer for par on 18 could go down as one of the most important shots of the week. Needing the putt to maintain a three-shot lead, Woods made a strong stroke and watched the ball the ball disappear into the hole.
So why exactly was the putt important? If you look at Woods' body of work over the last couple of years, this was the kind of putt that seemed to be missing from his game. For the first time in a while we weren't talking about Woods ruing another missed opportunity at the end of a round; rather, we were talking about him capitalizing on a critical moment in the tournament.
These are the moments that will ultimately decide if Woods ever makes a return to the top. He still has 36 holes remaining, but based on what we've seen from Woods so far this week, it appears his best might be just around the corner.
- Tiger Woods