Friday, April 8, 2011
Was Friday at Augusta Tiger's Return to Golf?
I don't know. I really, really don't. I have no idea, really, if Tiger Woods will go out on Saturday and post a similar score to his incredible 6-under 66 he shot on Friday at the Masters. I don't know if this is another short comeback that just falls short when the swing goes away. I don't know any of those things. But I know this ...
On Friday, when I watched Tiger hit shots on the back nine at Augusta National, I felt it, and I'm on the other side of the country. His look was different, and his swing was compact and strong, and his putting stroke looked as solid as I can remember.
I was into his round. I felt like he was going to make putts, even the lengthy ones like that eagle attempt on 15. I thought on 18, as he hit a ridiculous 8-iron around the trees to set up his ninth birdie of the day that he was actually going to make that putt, even when he's missed what seems like every memorable putt on the last green over the last two years.
And I feel like, for some reason, we will see the good Tiger again on Saturday. I don't know why I'd say that, because there have been far too many instances in the past that fooled me into thinking he had finally found something, but it just seemed like something was different for Woods.
His walk, his gaze, his swing and his reactions. His fist pumps weren't the "Holy moly, I can't believe that went in" fist pumps, they were the low, confident ones that Tiger does when he is sure the putt is going to disappear before it does.
I don't know what to think about Tiger anymore, but I know for one afternoon at the most famous golf course in the world, he looked like the old guy that never missed a shot and hardly ever missed a putt.
Maybe that guy will return on Saturday. I sure hope so. This tournament is shaping up to be as good a Masters as I can remember. Seems appropriate 25 years after the best one ever wrapped up.