August 22, 2011
Woods served up a plethora of information, from his take on his new swing ("I'm used to seeing the ball curve a lot, but now I'm hitting the ball much straighter, and it's hard to trust that") to his prospective new caddie ("What am I looking for? Two things: A person with a lot of experience, and a person I'll have fun with"). He offered up a handy text advertisement for his new Nike shoes, and some good wishes for an old Stanford classmate, David Shaw, who's now the head coach of the Cardinal football team.
Yes, yes, but when will he play again? Well, he let us in on that too. He'll be at Notah Begay's charity event on Aug. 31, and he'll be playing in Asia and Australia (for hefty appearance fees regardless of performance). He added that "hopefully I'll get picked for the Presidents Cup team ... Of course, I want to be on the team."
But let's face it, he doesn't look particularly ready right now. So what might he do? Here's what qualifies as the bombshell: "I might add another PGA Tour event to my schedule. Right now, I'm looking at my options." In previous years, Woods gave the impression that adding a Fall Series event to his schedule would be like LeBron James signing up to play in a men's rec-league basketball game, like Gordon Ramsay offering to man the grill at the local Chili's. But times are different now, and the fact that Woods is even opening the door to the possibility indicates the sea change at work in his career.
So where might he play before the Presidents Cup? Well, let's take a look at the schedule. The Presidents Cup is in mid-November. There are four PGA Tour events before then that aren't part of the FedEx Cup playoffs: The Justin Timberlake Shriners event (Las Vegas), the Frys.com Open (California), the McGladrey Classic (St. Simons Island, Ga.) and the Children's Miracle Network Classic (Walt Disney World).
Of these, we'd throw out the Frys.com without a second thought; sorry, Frys guys. The Timberlake in Vegas would be able to handle the Woods armada; the McGladrey would be isolated (and a way to show love to tournament host Davis Love III); the Disney event would be plenty of good Mickey Mouse-level press and close to Woods' home.
So there you go. No Tiger Woods in the FedEx Cup playoffs, which has to devastate the tour brass, but if he were to come back for an event or two in October, you can bet that it'd be exactly the kind of ratings and prestige spike these events so desperately need.