Tiger Woods returned to competitive golf this week at the 2014 Quicken Loans National. The game of golf always benefits from having Woods in the field, but it's not very often he only completes two rounds.
SportsCenter had the report:
CBS Sports' Kyle Porter had Woods' thoughts:
I came back four weeks earlier than I thought we could. I had no setbacks, no pain. I got my feel for playing tournament golf. I'm encouraged by what happened this week.
My short game was off. I made a ton of simple little mistakes. I probably should have spent more time chipping than I did.
The thing I was worried about the most was hitting driver. I hit it really well the last two days.
Unfortunately, that's what happened Friday when he missed the cut at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Maryland. To add insult to injury, it came at a venue Woods has won at twice and in a tournament he hosts through the Tiger Woods Foundation.
Woods shot a 4-over 75 in the second round to ruin his chance of advancement.
Golf Channel's Lisa Cornwell was rather surprised Woods was back so soon after undergoing back surgery:
Last seen at the WGC-Cadillac Championship in March, Woods acknowledged in announcing his return on Facebook that it could take a while to round back into form:
After a lot of therapy I have recovered well and will be supporting my foundation next week at the Quicken Loans National. I've just started to hit full shots but it's time to take the next step. I will be a bit rusty but I want to play myself back into competitive shape. Excited for the challenge ahead.
Billy Horschel was among Woods' peers who were thankful Woods was fit enough to tee it up at Congressional:
Prior to Doral, Woods made the cut by just one stroke at the Honda Classic before withdrawing in the final round due to back spasms. It was the same problem spot that flared up in striking fashion at The Barclays to open the 2013 FedEx Cup playoffs.
For a man who won his last major on a broken leg at the 2008 U.S. Open, the pain has to be severe for Woods to back out of an event, much less stay away from the PGA Tour and major championships. Questions may linger about his game, but at least the surgery has addressed Woods' detrimental health issue.
Rust was a factor this week, but just getting back in the competitive flow of things is critical for Woods if he has any hope of contending at the next two majors. The good news is he has more time to get his game together for The Open Championship at Royal Liverpool Golf Club (July 17-20) and the PGA Championship at Valhalla (Aug. 7-10).
In his previous starts at those venues during majors, Woods emerged with victories in both. That bodes well to say the least, but in light of his performance in the Quicken Loans National, there will be whispers about whether Woods pushed himself to come back too soon.
Woods has been stuck on 14 major wins—more than anyone in history other than Jack Nicklaus. Some may already regard Woods as the best player of all time, but that debate will be ever dubious if he never passes the Golden Bear's win total in golf's most important events.