September 26, 2018
Amazing, but is the comeback complete?
The spectacle that we witnessed last week was pure hero worship. Sports fans and newspapers were proclaiming the greatest comeback of all-time. Critics were eating their words and singing his praises. Winning the Tour Championship was being equated and elevated to major tournament status. Total amazement was the theme of the day, because Tiger Woods won a tournament again!
In perspective, it was no surprise. His resume in the past six months has been steady improvement. Six months ago he finished second in Tampa. Had the lead with eight holes to play in the Open at Carnoustie and ended one shot away from second. Was runner-up at the PGA Championship and in 18 PGA events this year finished in the top 12 in half of the events. If you are a Tiger watcher, his balance and ball striking markedly improved as the season progressed. Distance control, wedge accuracy, and driving length and consistency were outstanding. Winning was the only thing left of him to accomplish. He could have won in Tampa, but he would have won with a flawed game. As the season went on, his game sharped and his performance at East Lake was classic Tiger. Tiger was in control the entire way with him out in front the whole tournament. The best players in the world were assembled in Atlanta and all wilted when playing in Tiger's group.
What we have witnessed this year has been truly amazing. Tiger has admitted that this has exceeded his expectations. So this is a fantastic comeback, but since Tiger has set the gold standard so high, I think just a PGA tournament victory, even if it's the Tour Championship, it isn't enough. Ben Hogan's comeback from a near fatal car accident where the doctors weren't sure he would walk again, let alone play golf, has my vote for greatest comeback. After his accident at age 36, he won 6 of his nine major championships. I think that a major tournament win would fully make the Tiger Woods comeback complete. Sad, we will have to wait to next spring for his next chance. If this were next week, he would have to be the odds on favorite.
Hordes of screaming fans running after their hero down the eighteenth fairway was a scene for the ages. Tiger has come full circle and is again adored and idolized. The "prodigal son" has returned and all the riches have been placed before him. If he stays healthy, he has the all tools once more to claim them all. Amazing!