It was a midsummer afternoon in the middle of June. The year was 2008 and Tiger Woods was working some otherworldly magic at San Diego’s Torrey Pines golf course. It was the 2008 U.S Open and on this Sunday, Tiger showed incredible grit and determination to tie Rocco Mediate and send it to a playoff. Tiger had this uncanny ability to always come through in the clutch. If it was coming down to the wire you knew Tiger would make a shot or sink an incredible putt. In 2008 he did all of that on a left knee with a destroyed ACL. It was vintage Tiger. And no one could have predicted that it just might be the last time he ever won a major.
Eight years later and we are presently in a strange world. Tiger isn’t Tiger. Announcers should think about calling him Eldrick Woods until he turns things around. But can he? That’s the looming question right now. Can Tiger be Tiger again? Each year my faith wanes and wanes like an eroding shoreline. There is nothing I want more than for Tiger to be back.
The situation with Tiger looks dim right now for a number of reasons; for one, he’s getting old even for golf standards (he’s currently 40). What’s worse is that the talent in the PGA right now is out of this world. The young guys who grew up watching Tiger dominate the beginning of the new millennium were inspired by his greatness. Now we have a crop of young, hungry, Tiger copycats. With Rory, Jordan, Rickie, Jason Day, and everyone else, how is Tiger ever supposed to win another major?
Don’t forget he’s been injured like crazy as well. It seems that every attempted Tiger comeback has had it’s legs cut out from underneath them before he can get any real momentum going. As a fan it’s infuriating to watch. Plus you also have to look into the fact that Tiger has not been the same person mentally since the car crash incident in late 2008. That supreme confidence is gone. He has the yips now! Tiger, who had ice in his veins has seen the biggest struggle in the six inches between his ears. And any amateur golfer can sympathize with that. If your mind isn’t right on the course, your score will reflect that.
So, will Tiger come back? As a fan of comebacks and Tiger Woods I say that he will. All Tiger needs to do is just get one major win and momentum will be back in corner. If he can win just one major in the next year or two he can break Jack’s record, I know it. If I were a betting man I say Tiger can win the PGA Championship next year. If he can stay healthy and have a full year on tour he’ll get it. You heard it here first. A full healthy golf season will allow Tiger just to get back into his competitive spirits and get his feel back. He won’t be great in the beginning of the year but I believe that once we hit the middle of the season right around the US and British Opens he will start to hit that gear and it will win him the PGA. If he wins the PGA watch out for the Masters in 2018.
I think Tiger has served his punishment for what he did. I think it’s time for the universe to see a new and improved Tiger. Only time will tell if he has served his karmic punishment to it’s full extent. Whether Tiger wins another major or not I will always be rooting for that dark red Nike golf shirt down the stretch on a Sunday in a major.