We hinted at it.
There will be yet another return to golf, another comeback, another restart for the world’s favorite surgically-repaired golfer — and that would be Eldrick Tont Woods — aka Tiger.
Fresh off a court appearance where he pleaded guilty to lowered charges of reckless driving, Woods has been dropping hints for the past three weeks.
An iron video here, a driver video there, covert rounds at The Medalist — all the typical stuff that usually precedes some sort of “reveal” by the 14-time major champion.
Noted Tiger butt-patter Ian Baker-Finch declared Tiger’s swing “very smooth.”
Well done Baker-Finch.
Of course we got the standard Prepared By Stiney statement:
“I am excited to return to competitive golf at The Hero World Challenge. Albany is the perfect setting and it will be great to join this outstanding field.”
So reads the Tiger-Stiney press release.
Mark it on your calendar. November 30, Albany Resort, The Bahamas.
Tiger’s right about one thing. Albany is the perfect setting for him to get out there and play four rounds of golf against guys who really can play at this moment in time.
It’s a user-friendly course, birdies are there to be had. Woods made 28 of then down there last year and still managed to beat just two guys.
Still, it was the 28 birdies that had the Tiger Woods Minions going totally ga-ga, ready to install him as a favorite to win The Masters.
Then came Dubai and that was the end of that.
Woods should perhaps be a little more cautious this time around.
None of that overseas travel stuff. It’s not all that easy when you’re young and healthy. Did we mention that Woods will turn 42 at the end of December?
Tiger’s real focus should be to find a way to get healthy enough to play in the 2018 Masters. The four-time winner of The Green Jacket has missed three of the last four Masters tournaments, he tied for 17th in 2015, hasn’t won there since 2005.
Which brings us back to expectations.
What exactly should be expectations by Woods and expectations for Woods?
Well, first thing Woods is going to spout out is that he enters fields to win tournaments. But is that a realistic mindset for him?
What we don’t know is the exact New Reality Of Tiger Woods.
Will his back hold up for 72 holes of world-class competition like you find at the majors?
He won’t be eligible to compete in the WGC events. A quick look at The Official World Golf Rankings reveals that Woods has fallen all the way to No. 1,180 in the world.
Woods is a lifetime member of the PGA Tour and can tee it up in any regular season event that he might choose, no problem there.
Which begs the question — which PGA Tour event will he compete in to start 2018?
The Sony in Hawaii might be a bit too soon (Jan. 11-14). The Farmers (Jan. 25-28) may be asking a bit too much with that big Torrey Pines South golf course.
The perfect place could be Phoenix. He’s played there before, it begins Feb. 1, good weather, easy course.
Maybe that’s the place.
In the meantime, time for The Golf Channel to bust out its dusty, seldom used Tiger Tracker.
Yeah, this is Deja Eldrick All Over Again.