Tiger Woods Sends Message with Imperious Putting Display

Aaron Gales@@AaronSportLive Correspondent IIMarch 16, 2013

Tiger's putting was back to his best as he claimed his second win of 2013.
Tiger's putting was back to his best as he claimed his second win of 2013.Warren Little/Getty Images

So is Tiger Woods finally back? Ever since the scandal in his personal life back at the end of 2009 and his subsequent slide down the rankings, golf fans around the world have been waiting for the moment that they can finally say that the old Tiger is back.

Well, that moment may have finally come. Over the past 18 months, Woods has started to show flashes that he may be on the way back, winning five PGA Tour events and rising back to No. 2 in the world, though he has been somewhat overshadowed by the impressive rise of Rory McIlroy during that same time period.

However, what suggests to me that Tiger might finally be able to start challenging for majors again is the vast improvement in his putting that was evident in his victory at the WGC event in Cadillac. Tiger took 100 putts over four rounds to complete his dominant victory.

When he was at his dominant best, Woods was amongst the best putters that the game had ever seen. He had a steely nerve and would always make that awkward 10 footer that was needed to clinch a title or turn a bogey into a par.

That deserted him during his decline. They would start lipping out or rolling agonizingly past the cup. If you want to win the biggest tournaments, you have to be able to sink the vital putts. Somewhere along the way, the greatest player the sport has ever seen lost the ability to do so.

What should strike fear into his rivals, though, is that although he hasn't been at his brilliant best over the last few years, he has still won tournaments and challenged consistently for victories. When he finally gets all aspects of his game working in tandem again, he could once again become the dominant player that everyone on the Tour fears. Although, still somewhat wild off the tee on occasion, if your short game is in good working order you win tournaments.

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