The past, the present and the future are playing together the first two rounds of the Valspar this week.
Yes, Tiger Woods is paired with Jordan Spieth and just for kicks, they threw in Henrik Stenson, who shot that sensational final round 63 at Troon two years ago to beat Phil Mickelson at the Open Championship.
But this one’s about the past vs. the present and future.
Tiger Woods is King Of The Past. People love to live in the past. That’s why they show up in droves to worship at the Cathedral Of Eldrick. They want to see what once was, once again.
Then there’s the Prince Of Present and Future and that would be Jordan Spieth.
Couldn’t ask for a better one than this.
Spieth won at Innisbrook in 2015 and hasn’t been back until this week.
That’s just a mere second in time when you consider Woods hasn’t been on the grounds since 1996.
Which brings us to the Thursday-Friday showdown.
Spieth vs. Woods vs. Stenson. Normally you wouldn’t think of Stenson as the forgotten man but in this threesome, he’s window dressing.
We love Spieth because he’s the All-American, well-behaved kid who doesn’t hit it all that far but at times putts like no one on the planet.
We love Woods because he’s the All-American tale of a super-star’s fall from grace, the guy who ignores people, doesn’t treat them all that well, at one time played better than anyone on the planet then got discovered as the guy with a secret life.
America loves a good scandal.
America is also very forgiving with its sports stars.
You look at the crowds out in Los Angeles, PGA National and Pebble Beach and it’s pretty evident that almost everyone’s forgiven Woods except for maybe Elin Nordegren’s immediate family.
America also loves a great comeback story.
Woods apparently is beginning to give us one.
Which brings us back to Woods and Spieth.
With his early success, Spieth is already drawing timeline comparisons with Woods. One thing Spieth does do that Woods used to do is pull out the seemingly impossible shot.
Crowds love that. America loves a miracle worker.
So this group should bring ’em out in droves.
They go off at 12:46 on Thursday afternoon. The gallery will be a dozen deep, a lot of jockeying for position.
They play early, early on Friday, 7:56 a.m. Great one for the early risers and the best chance to get a closer look at both.
By then we’ll know if they’re both around for the weekend.
You can bet Spieth will be, and Woods too.
Could get interesting in a hurry.