Foregoing his usual season start at Torrey Pines, Tiger Woods opted for some guaranteed cash to play in the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship.
And while a 3rd place finish was not exactly the start to the season Tiger had in mind, it certainly could have been a lot worse.
The fact of the matter is Tiger looked very solid for three days of play. Unfortunately, he just couldn't get anything going during the final round.
But now it is time to look ahead to the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. It is Tiger's first start stateside, and one he can not only compete in, but also win.
Here are five simple reasons why Tiger can win his first full field PGA Tour event at Pebble Beach.
Now, there is no way Tiger's confidence is at an all time high.
But his confidence has to be fairly high at this point.
When he plays the way he wants to play, he is still the best golfer on the course. He did this sporadically in Abu Dhabi, which put him in a position to win on the final day.
Although he eventually fell short, that tournament proved to him that he still could compete even when his game is not at its best.
Plus, he is still Tiger Woods. And if there is one thing Tiger will never be lacking it is confidence.
Now, you are probably thinking that Tiger's putting has been atrocious and you are wondering how I can possibly think it is a reason he can win at Pebble Beach.
But my point is to look just at how bad his putting has been.
On the first day in Abu Dhabi, Woods shot 70 with 34 putts. 34 putts! And he still found a way to shoot under par.
If his putting were to improve slightly, lets say 2-3 putts a round, he wins. In fact, Tiger absolutely demolishes the competition.
At Pebble Beach, Tiger will be more familiar with the greens and have more competitive reps under his belt.
Let us remember back to the 2000 U.S. Open.
That was the year Tiger blew away the competition by a record 15 shots. He was the only player to finish the tournament under par.
Oh yeah, it was also held at Pebble Beach.
The fact of the matter is Tiger knows how to win at Pebble Beach. He is comfortable with the course and clearly plays it well.
Through three days in Abu Dhabi, Tiger's iron play was outstanding.
He hit 46 of 54 greens through the first three rounds. It doesn't get much better than that.
And while he struggled on the final day, hitting only five greens, Tiger's iron play is very close to amazing.
In between now and Pebble Beach, Tiger will probably beat thousands of balls in an effort to further perfect his play. That way even if his driver is awry or his putts are off, Tiger can ride the back of his hot irons to win.
Going through swing changes is never easy. With Tiger having made a few in the last year, his game has been struggling.
But he showed last week that his game is close. Very close.
Tiger always says he needs more repetitions or reps. The start of the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am is a little over a week away, providing ample time for more reps.
Reps equal confidence.
Confidence equals good play.
Good play equals victories.