Tiger Woods: You Can Call It a Comeback Because He Hasn't Been Here for Years
The last time Tiger Woods won a major was in June 2008.
That was just four years ago, but it seems like his epic victory at Torrey Pines occurred in a land far, far away.
In June 2008, George W. Bush was president of the United States. Most Americans were comfortable in their “cozy” jobs and were all but giddy as they watched their home prices continue to soar. People had never even heard the words “sub-prime mortgage.”
In June 2008, we were just getting ready for the summer Olympic Games in Beijing, China.
If you had a son or daughter who was a freshman in college in 2008, he or she would have just graduated last month.
And of course the idea that Woods would one day crash his car into a fire hydrant causing the complete unraveling of both his personal life and golf game seemed about as likely as Woods missing that par putt on the 72nd hole of the 108th U.S. Open.
That being said, if you had been in a coma since 2008 and woke up last Thursday morning, aside from the fact that your job, house and 401K would all be gone and you’d be stuck with a $2 million medical bill that your insurance company wouldn’t cover due to you exceeding their “lifetime limit,” if you turned on the television you’d at least think that nothing had changed in the world of golf.
Woods, Jim Furyk and David Toms are all tied for the lead at one under par through 36 holes. Okay, that would seem logical to someone who had been in a coma since 2008, as at that time these three men were all on top of their games.
Woods has been tactically maneuvering his way around the Olympic Club as if it were Hoylake in 2006.
Woods had legions of fans out there supporting him over the past two days including celebrities such as Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers.
Woods not only dominated his playing partners, Phil Mickelson and Bubba Watson, but he appeared totally indifferent to anything they were doing on the course.
If you went into a coma in 2008 and woke up last Thursday morning, you’d never know that over the past four years, Woods has gone through reconstructive ACL surgery, one of the biggest personal scandals in sports history which cost him his marriage and more than $50 million per year in endorsement dollars and a swing change during which he completely lost his game.
You’d simply think that the Woods you were watching on Thursday and Friday was the exact same man you had watched prior to slipping into that four-year coma, and that’s what has to have the rest of the field shaking in their spikes as we head into the final 36 holes of the 112th U.S. Open.
For the past four years, every time Woods had even a decent round, fans and the media would scream “HE’S BACK” and every time he played poorly, chatter would immediately begin about how Woods would never win another major and never break Jack Nicklaus’ record of 18 major titles.
But since striking that fire hydrant on Nov. 29, 2009, Woods has never truly been “back” because up until two weeks ago, he had never regained that pre-fire hydrant look, swagger, indifference to anything else going on around him and confidence that simply said, "no matter what happens I will be the man holding the trophy on Sunday afternoon."
After Woods won the 2011 Chevron World Challenge, his first win of any kind since the 2009 Australian Masters, Woods received a text from a friend quoting the lyrics of an LL Cool J song: “Don’t call it a comeback, I’ve been here for years.”
The only thing is that Woods has not been here for years. In fact it’s been three years since Woods has really been in position to capture a major championship.
And if Woods did somehow capture his fourth U.S. Open title on Sunday afternoon at the Olympic Club, not only would it be a comeback, but it would be one of the biggest comebacks in sports history.
After a win at The Memorial and two sharp rounds at the Olympic Club it truly feels like nothing ever changed and Woods has “been here for years,” and that's undoubtedly what has players such as Rory McIlory, Martin Kaymer, Matt Kuchar, Lee Westwood, Bubba Watson and Luke Donald extremely concerned that their cozy little world is about to be turned upside down by another dominant Tiger Woods run.
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