Sunday, December 4, 2011
Tiger Woods Is Back In the Winner's Circle
"Allow me to re-introduce myself, My name is HOV, H to the O-V, I used to move snowflakes by the O.Z., I guess even back then you can call me, C.E.O of the R.O.C HOV, Fresh out the frying pan into the fire ..."
For the past two years, Tiger Woods was far from invisible. Anytime we write something about him or bring up his name, everyone has an opinion. He's one of the few golfers that has allowed himself to be more than the game, but the funny thing, for the last 700-and-some-odd weeks he was just that, anything but golf.
That was, until Sunday at a tournament with only 17 other players in it. Critics will call it a silly season event or not a real golf tournament, but winning is winning, no matter who you're playing, and the lineup for the Chevron event was far from a Hooters Tour event. Tiger had to beat a Masters champion, a U.S. Open champion and a host of other young players you've heard of more than you should. He took out Kuchar, Casey and Mahan. But more importantly, he took out the guy that has been the biggest hindrance to Tiger Woods anytime he'd get near the lead; himself.
Tiger didn't have his best stuff on Sunday. Really, nobody did. Woods cursed after swings and dropped clubs and let opportunities slip away. But the moment he needed something to happen, he rose to the occasion and delivered. Not since 2009 was Tiger able to birdie the final two holes of a golf tournament and win the damn thing, but he did it, fist-pumps and all.
Does a win really mean that Tiger is "back"? For some, winning the Chevron wouldn't do that, but for Tiger, this was what he needed. It was the a can of "Red Bull" to a career that, frankly, needed wings. Woods' ability to close out golf tournaments was a thing of beauty for the first part of his career, but Tiger was never much from chasing down players. After extending his lead to two shots on the back nine on Sunday, Tiger let it all fall back to Zach Johnson, but he never stopped fighting, and his birdies on 17 and 18 showed that he can still find another gear when he needs it.
Tiger isn't really reintroducing himself to us at all, but he is reintroducing everyone to his golf clubs. It's nice to see, and makes the 2012 season all the more exciting.