Tiger Woods looked game-ready last Sunday at The Match II.
He looked relaxed and healthy, a different player from the last time we saw him.
It was last February when Woods made the cut at the tournament he hosts — The Genesis. But Saturday and Sunday were a struggle for him. His back was tight and by the final round, he finished dead last in the field.
Perhaps no player benefited more from the tour’s long vacation from action more than Woods.
At The Medalist, in the rain, his swing looked free, he hit every fairway prompting on-course newbie broadcaster Justin Thomas to declare Tiger “a driving machine.”
On the par five third hole at The Medalist, the long drive hole for the pros, Phil Mickelson’s drive was wild, nearly out-of-bounds. Woods responded with a perfect swing — “fairway, oops, dead-center,” Tiger quipped.
His irons were sharp, his overall game excellent despite rain storms that hung around for most of the day.
Yes, Tiger looks ready to come back but the compressed 2020 schedule may present a problem.
The Tour cranks up in just two weeks at Colonial but in seven of the first eight events on the new schedule, Tiger has either never played in any of then or not played at any in at least 20 years.
Best bet for his return to action is Jack Nicklaus’ Memorial tournament on July 16.
The problem for the 44-year-old Woods and his fragile back is the three remaining majors, the FedEx playoffs and Ryder Cup are crammed into 15 weeks.
Charles Barkley tried to get something out of Tiger but the best he could come up with from the elusive Woods was:
“It’s going to be interesting.”
One thing’s for sure, Tiger’s game was solid last Sunday from tee to green.
With what looks like a month-and-a-half until we see him again, his body should be pretty rested and ready.