There’s really two ways to look at the play of Tiger Woods at the British Open Championship at Hoylake. One can look at it independent of recent history (back surgery) or take his round with the qualification of the back surgery. One is sensible, the other not quite as much.
"I was down for three months so I'm just now starting to come back," Woods told reporters. "I'm still building. I'm still working on my game and I'm still getting stronger and faster."
Woods’ attendance in this tournament wasn’t ceremonial: He was in it, as the saying goes, to win it. So grading him independent of the back surgery is the only way that would be fair, less insulting and less condescending.
“He’s the big draw,” said ESPN 3’s Kim Thomas during the broadcast. “It’s a shame he’s not quite on his A-game. Too much to ask for on his first time back. “
He’s not exactly graduating Royal Liverpool cum laude.
We’ve been evaluating Woods on a day-to-day basis, but we'll now grade him on his entire tournament with a look toward what’s coming up for the remainder of 2014.