Tiger Woods had an ugly return to the PGA TOUR

Nobody wants Tiger to succeed more than me, but his game is a long way from any sort of competitive level.

You can’t spend 522 days away from golf’s premium TOUR and expect to waltz back with a sub-par score. Indeed, Tiger will be subjected to a full autopsy by the sporting media, a phenomenon that players before him were spared. Jack Nicklaus’ career could fade away at a pace he chose, Tiger will not have this luxury.

The rough at Torrey Pines chewed him up and spat him out. Of course, there were some moments that allowed for nostalgia, but these were few and far between.

As Brendan Porath summarised:

He’s beyond wild off the tee. Every time he stood over the ball with his driver, you clenched up, peeked through the cracks of your fingers, and waited for what might come next.

The front nine was a respectable, gutsy display. He was fighting on every shot and a 1-over 37 front nine was probably the best he could have posted given the way he was hitting the ball.

That’s when his game deserted him. He came in with a 39 on a back nine that featured three birdies, an indication of how bad that stretch got. A foul hook made every tee shot precarious, and this was punished by the unforgiving rough.

You can’t expect to score when you hit just 30% of the fairways. As with most Tiger fans, we will be patient and wait with baited breath. I think he will relax today as he sits 11 shots behind leader Justin Rose.


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