Column: Woods results inspire hope, his words urge caution


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The timing offered great hope for Tiger Woods’ immediate future.

Golf had been gone all year without his flaming red shirt on Sunday and suddenly he had two. Woods and his 12-year-old son Charlie, decked out like daddy, headed for the 18th fairway tied for the PNC Championship lead, and for a moment the unthinkable seemed possible.

Winning – no matter if it was a scramble – in his first tournament in 10 months since a car accident that crippled his right leg? But then Woods missed the green to the right, both were too strong trying to punch it out for the eagle, the two birdie putts and the par were never going to be enough. The championship belt went to John Daly and his college son.

The words called for restraint.

“No, no, no, no,” Woods said with a smile.

The topic was an observation from Matt Kuchar, who played with Woods on the last round and suggested that by walking sideways his game and swing looked set for the PGA Tour.

“I totally disagree. I’m not at that level. I can’t compete with these guys right now. No,” Woods said.

For those keeping track, it was his fifth “No”. faded away.

He at least ended the year on an uplifting note.

It might not seem like much, but this was the 26th consecutive year Woods has played at least one tournament as a pro. It didn’t seem likely after footage of his crumpled SUV at the bottom of a hill in suburban Los Angeles and words like “comminuted open fractures,” a medical speech for a bone broken in at least three places that pierced the body. skin.

Woods also said the amputation was on the table. Word on the medical street is that the “Tiger Woods of Doctors” was on duty when he was brought in. Lucky man.

And then 10 months later he and his son played without a bogey (that was one of their goals) and had a blast (that was the other goal), finished 25 under par out of 36. holes, birdied 11 in a row and nearly won the tournament.

“Competitive juices, they’re never going to go away,” Woods said. “It’s my environment. It’s what I’ve been doing my whole life. I’m so grateful that I can have this opportunity to do it again.” Golf doesn’t often make sports headlines, and never in December. Welcome back, Tiger.

And so the next step, of course, was to wonder when he would return. Woods doesn’t know, and neither does Lee Trevino.

The second question is where, another mystery.

Woods is forever linked with the Masters, where he marked a turning point in golf history with his 12-stroke victory in 1997 at age 21, and where he came back from four back surgeries to win a fifth green jacket in 2019. .

The first round of the 2022 Masters is 107 days away, and Woods said he never took a day off during rehab. So who knows? But walking is a big part of the game, and Woods was in a cart at the PNC Championship. Augusta National is the most beautiful garden and the most difficult walk.

Ian Poulter envisioned this while watching Woods play on Saturday. Up the steep hill from # 1, down the hill from # 2, up the hill from # 3, down then up from # 4. He continued until it’s suggested the par-3 12th over Rae’s Creek was a fairly easy walk.

“You have the bridge,” Poulter said, smiling because the point had been made.

Southern Hills, the site of the 2022 PGA Championship, is a fairly easy walk, once players descend the massive incline from the first tee, which means they eventually have to climb back up.

The steepest climb in St. Andrews, home of the 2022 British Open, is coming out of the pot bunkers (Woods didn’t touch any of them when he won by eight strokes at 24 in 2000).

About all Woods knows about his future is that he’ll never play a full program again. He will have to choose the spots. “And even then,” he said, “my body might not be cooperating.” Justin Thomas sees him more than any other player, and he was by his side for the first round when Woods poked a massive 4-iron from 220 yards to 8 feet, and when Woods passed the 28-year-old on the 11th hole.

“In terms of throws and all that, he’s not that far,” Thomas said.

“But as to being able to compete and walk 72 holes for weeks in a row? Yes, that’s another story. And he’s the only one who can answer that.” An answer could be found in his easy smile when it was over. Woods doesn’t often smile when he finishes second. But it was just about playing with his son. He was happy with it.

(This story was not edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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