Leave Tiger Woods’ comeback to Tiger Woods

David Lord Columnist

By David Lord, David Lord is a Roar Expert

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    Tiger Woods gets advice from former caddy Steve Williams. Will Tiger make it back to the top? (AAP Image/Joe Castro)

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    Tiger Woods has major problems, and it’s not even the US Masters – yet.

    The former undisputed world number one, now ranked 666th, can’t land the ball where he’s aiming.

    His driving off the tee is of military precision – left, right, left, right, left.

    His opening tee shot was 70 yards left of the first fairway. It wasn’t until his final two holes of the opening round of the Dubai Desert Classic that he found the middle of the fairway, but still couldn’t post his first birdie.

    His five-over 77 in perfect conditions means he’ll probably have to shoot 66, or better, or miss another cut.

    Woods played with Danny Willett, the reigning Masters and Dubai champion – Woods has won four Masters and two Dubais – and the highly promising 22-year-old Englishman Matthew Fitzpatrick. Woods was 41 last December.

    Those 19 years showed up with Fitzpatrick shooting 69, including five birdies and two bogeys, leaving at least three shots on course, while Willett struggled to a 71 with two birdies, and a bogey.

    Woods’ comeback after 17 months of back surgeries and rehab would be far easier for him if the media got off his back. But we all know that will never happen.

    Whenever Tiger Woods plays the media is there in droves, hanging on every shot, every reaction, and every word.

    Former US Open champion Graeme McDowell added to the Woods pressure by describing him as the greatest golfer of all time during the pro-am, obviously forgetting Jack Nicklaus’ 18 majors and 19 times runner-up to Woods 14 and five.

    Tiger had an ordinary pro-am, suggesting a 2am phone call from his mother didn’t help – “She forgot the nine hour diff, but I’ll get some rest this afternoon and be ready for the opening round tomorrow”.

    That wasn’t the case.

    European television commentators Ken Brown and Sam Torrance aren’t helping either.

    Brown rued the fact Tiger’s private plane had to make a stopover for refuelling to get to Dubai, so he had to catch a commercial flight for the first time in a decade.

    Reckon 1A wouldn’t be too shabby a seat.

    Brown chirped up again with “Tiger has that never-say-die attitude he got from his mother and father”.

    Really.

    The vast majority of golfers on every tour have that attitude, or they wouldn’t be there in the first place.

    Tiger Woods

    There are no tankers in golf, only tennis.

    Torrance often said Tiger wasn’t having any luck, but it’s a bit hard when he was like Gulliver’s Travels of his own making.

    But Sam Torrance won the quote of the day, saying “that was a glorious shot, just five yards short”.

    But the Scot failed to add the ball was at the bottom of the lake for another bogey.

    It’s early days, but when you compare the Woods of yesteryear and yesterday, it’s chalk and cheese.

    There’s no killer instinct, there’s no repetition of quality shots, and his putting – for so long his strength – is simply not there.

    Will those assets return?

    At 41 with attitude, it’s hard to see, but the crowds are back in their thousands – they love the bloke.

    The rest is entirely up to Tiger.

    David Lord
    David Lord

    David Lord was deeply involved in two of the biggest sporting stories - World Series Cricket in 1977 and professional rugby in 1983. After managing Jeff Thomson and Viv Richards during WSC, in 1983 David signed 208 of the best rugby players from Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales and France to play an international pro circuit. The concept didn?t get off the ground, but it did force the IRB to get cracking and bring in the World Rugby Cup, now one of the world?s great sporting spectacles

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    The Crowd Says (5)

    • February 3rd 2017 @ 9:22am
      Felix said | February 3rd 2017 @ 9:22am | ! Report

      His putting stroke is horrendous, he’s got a short take away and a jabby follow through. I watched the last few holes yesterday and he was ramming them through the break left and right. He did hit a good put on the last that didn’t drop for him.

      I think his swing change looks good, give it a few months and he will start hitting it a bit better.

    • February 3rd 2017 @ 5:25pm
      joe said | February 3rd 2017 @ 5:25pm | ! Report

      What comeback? He is done he’s been done for years now.This is a comeback in name only, Woods isn’t close to a legitimate threat of making a cut letalone winning a tournament.
      Tiger Woods right now reminds me of Mike Tyson in the early 2000’s.The sporting public desperately wanted them to recapture that magic they both had a decade earlier but its not happening.
      Both were shells of their former selves.Mentally they just didn’t have that invincible attitude that made them great in their prime & both guys physically were done,especially Tiger Woods.
      Even if Tiger Woods somehow got the ‘eye of the tiger’ back,i don’t think his body will be able to sustain any sort of prolonged dominance his back,knees are liabilities now.
      Its a shame because Woods in that 10 yr stretch from 1997 to 2007 was as good as it gets.But now he is done.Its been obvious for years,its just the sporting public WISHING Tiger would return to glory that is blinding them to the reality of the situation.

      • February 3rd 2017 @ 10:21pm
        Felix said | February 3rd 2017 @ 10:21pm | ! Report

        I’m predicting he’ll have a Norman, 2008 British Open moment, one last event where he is in the mix and that’ll do him.

      • February 5th 2017 @ 10:23pm
        John Erichsen said | February 5th 2017 @ 10:23pm | ! Report

        It is still very early days, but so far the signs don’t look good. In fact, Tiger’s return looks to more closely align with the ill advised and very forgettable return of Bjorn Borg. At least Tiger didn’t wait 10 years and he has embraced the latest equipment. Borg’s return in 1991 came complete with the wooden racquets of his glory days. Could Tiger’s withdrawal with an injury concern, rather than a missed cut by several shots, be seen as golf’s equivalent of a mercy killing?

    • February 3rd 2017 @ 8:03pm
      Jock Cornet said | February 3rd 2017 @ 8:03pm | ! Report

      His past of being an ahole has affected his future.

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