LOS CABOS, Mexico – Tiger Woods showed up at Diamante on Tuesday, where he built the course the pros are playing this week, has a restaurant named for him and is building a third 18-hole course, and his every move has been dissected.
A video showed him walking down a set of stairs and the internet exploded in arm-chair experts breaking down whether it meant he would be ready for the Hero World Challenge and PNC Championship or whether his fans will have to wait until the Genesis Invitational in February to see him start his latest comeback and the pursuit of major No. Sweet 16.
One player who chatted with Woods during his visit was Stewart Cink.
“He doesn’t always tell you a whole lot,” Cink said in the understatement of the year. “He sounded upbeat. He said he started practicing. I don’t know what for. I don’t even like to ever ask because he’s always afraid you’re going to go tell everybody so I just said I’m glad you’re practicing.”
Tiger spotting in Mexico 👀
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) October 31, 2023
But Cink did mention one topic that Woods showed particular interest in – PGA Tour Champions. Woods will turn 48 on Dec. 30, two years from eligibility.
“It sounds like he’s excited for it,” Cink said. “That would be great for me. I’ll have a place to play for a while. I may have my second go at the Tiger Woods rollercoaster. I got on at the same time he did and I’d like nothing more than to be part of the Champions tour experience.”
In a recent interview with Golfweek, Geoff Ogilvy said he expects Tiger to take advantage of being able to use a cart on the senior circuit and play frequently.
“I think the Champions tour is on the verge of a resurgence. I fully expect Tiger to play,” Ogilvy said. “Taking a cart changes everything for him. Interest both from fans and sponsors is going to be through the roof. I think there’s a good chance that Champions tour ratings can top the PGA Tour when he decides to play. And what else is he going to?”
But Brian Gay, who is 51 and splitting time between the two circuits, isn’t so sure that Woods is going to play in the 50-and-over-league.
“Everyone keeps saying that, I don’t believe it. Maybe some majors and a handful of stuff. He’s not going to play a full season,” Gay said. “I haven’t asked him but he’s been telling guys he’s looking forward to it. I’ll believe it when I see it.”
Added Gay: “I saw Stewart Cink at lunch yesterday and he saw Tiger and Tiger was asking Stewart about the Senior tour. At least he’s got interest.”
Tiger could make senior golf the hottest property in golf if he’s able to play. While his fans were breathlessly anticipating Tiger’s latest return, one source had a different take on Tiger descending a staircase. According to a source who witnessed Woods during his visit, Tiger was none too happy that he had to take the stairs at the clubhouse.
So it remains unclear whether Tiger is practicing to compete next month or for the next Masters in April. We’ve got two years until we know just how much interest he has in senior golf. Stay tuned.