November 10, 2011
We talk about Tiger Woods a lot around these parts. Talk about his struggles. Talk about his personal life. Talk about his reckless ex-caddie. We discuss his sponsors, his money situation and what others think about his future. But these days, the one thing that it seems we hardly ever talk about is the guy's golf game.
That's still what he does, right? Plays pro golf? Because right now at the Australian Open, the guy is playing some golf, and as his birdie putt on his final hole, the par-3 ninth, stopped dimples from going in, he was tied for the lead. At a big-time event. For the first time since December of 2010.
And more than all of that, the guy's golf game looks good. Thursday's 68 was sharp, but Friday, when Tiger posted 67 to take the outright lead at 9-under, the guy looked dialed in. Putts were dropping. Irons were being twirled. His driver looked to be finding the short grass (and no, I don't mean the next tee box as Woods whirled the club after another disappointing swing).
The guy looks great. And much like Luke Donald at Disney, he's doing it right when he needs some momentum.
Let's face it, Tiger has only played two rounds, and we've seen flashes at times over the last couple of years, but if Woods can put together four good rounds, and heaven forbid, win this thing, it would be one of the best things to ever happen to Fred Couples. No more second guessing on the captain's pick of Tiger. No more worry of which guy will show up for next week's Presidents Cup.
Just Tiger being Tiger again for the first time since the front nine at Augusta. And the thing about Tiger's round on Thursday is, he had a chance to go dirty low. Woods had a short eagle look at par-5 14th hole that didn't go. He left an eagle putt short on his 17th hole of the day, the par-5 eighth, and he nearly holed that final birdie putt to get to 10-under.
A win here would take over the sports world at a time when something good really needs to happen. If he could pull this out, everything about his future would change, but even if he doesn't, it's nice to see some consistency for a change. Tiger playing great golf and John Daly's exploding. Who knew the golf world would become normal again a continent away?