After the week Tiger Woods had at Firestone, finishing 18 over par and 30 shots out of first, it seems a little crazy to even consider the world's No. 1 golfer (yes, he's still No. 1, despite trying to hand it to Phil Mickelson on a silver platter the last five months or so) could have any chance at the PGA Championship this week at Whistling Straits.
But not so fast. Let's not count him out quite so quickly.
The Tiger Woods of the last nine months has given us no reason to think he has any chance of kissing the Wanamaker Trophy come Sunday. Yet, the Tiger Woods of the last 13 years has taught us another thing altogether: Don't count this man out.
Maybe it's just me, but I'll take the body of work through 13 years over the "trend" of the last nine months. I say this with a fair amount of apprehension. Predicting a win from a man who just played the worst tournament of his professional life would be a bit foolish.
Yet, how many times have we undersold him in the past?
Seems almost strange to even try to analyse his game right now, or how a particular golf course might be well-suited to him. Heck, he owned Firestone in the past, but how much did that help him last week?
However, one can't help but mention how a course like Whistling Straits should suit Tiger's game; at least, the old Tiger. Long, windy, tough but true greens: all things Woods normally likes. He should also be pleased with the pairing of Vijay Singh for the first couple of rounds, although adding Y.E. Yang to mix might not be what he would have chosen.
Woods finished in a tie for 24th six years ago at the 2004 PGA Championship played at Whistling Straits. Amazing to say this, but if he finished in the same spot this year we'd probably be saying what a good tournament he had.
So, do I think he'll be smooching the Wanamaker on Sunday?
Would it shock me if he won?
Only one thing is for sure: He can only go up from here.