Finally something you can sink your teeth into.
Finally, some big-time golf with real substance.
Ladies and gentlemen (drum roll please) — we’ve got Tiger Woods AND Rory McIlroy out of hibernation and back in action on the PGA Tour.
It’s simply called The Farmers these days. This San Diego stop on the PGA Tour was once-upon-a-time the Andy Williams — back when celebrities lent their names to tournaments to create more interest.
No celebrities needed this week — you’ve got Tiger and Rory.
Last time we saw Tiger he was running circles around everyone and anyone at the Presidents Cup and doing a great job as captain on top of that. He showed he’s still the best in tactics on a tough course that calls for extraordinary shot-making and creativity. Yeah, Tiger’s still got it.
There’s huge optimism surrounding Tiger. This should be the year he passes Sam Snead and wins No. 83. This could be the year he wins a 16th major. He’s proven he can win again and again, as he did last season. He proved he can bag a major.
On Thursday and Friday Tiger will play with young Collin Morikawa, who was born six months after Tiger turned professional in August of ’96.
They asked Tiger about that on Tuesday and Tiger quickly responded: “It means I’ve been out here a while.”
Tiger went on to tell how football players are lucky to last a decade. “For us, it’s decades,” Woods said, adding a plural. “Here we’re measured by decades played.” Tiger talked about how he was the longest when he came out, blasting 300-yard drives when it meant something. Now days, his distance is hardly his calling card. “It’s about how many birdies you can make and how many mistakes you can eliminate.”
It was Tiger’s polite way of saying he’s got a helluva lot more experience than most.
One of those players who can launch it well past Tiger is McIlroy. At age 30, Rory’s still looking for that final piece of the career Grand Slam — The Masters. He’s also in hot pursuit of the No. 1 ranking currently held by Brooks Koepka. A win this week will launch Rory up there and drop Brooks from that pedestal.
We haven’t seen McIlroy since last November, when he tied for fourth at the DP World Tour Championship. Yes, he’s had an extended vacation.
With Woods and McIlroy as the headliners, there’s a pretty good supporting cast.
World No. 3 Jon Rahm is a pre-tournament favorite. Rahm will play the first 36-holes with Woods and Morikawa.
You’ve also got No. 8 Justin Rose (the defending champion) and No. 9 Xander Schauffele. Then there’s the star of the Farmers Insurance commercials — spokesman Rickie Fowler.
And yes, the big star is the Torrey Pines South Course. It will be the site of next year’s U.S. Open.
All the more reason to play this week.