Tiger Woods enters the upcoming 2011 PGA Golf year a man surrounded by questions. Can he regain his golf game? How much will his personal life drama affect his golf performance? Will Tiger ever be great again? And, lastly, where does the chase of Jack Nicklaus and golf immortality lie?
Well, everyone is missing the boat on all of the Tiger doubts. That's because whether Tiger does or doesn’t return to be the best golfer in the world spot has nothing, I repeat, nothing, to do with his personal life.
Tiger Woods’ work ethic is unparalleled in golf and, outside of Kobe Bryant, Ray Lewis, Peyton Manning, and Tom Brady, the greatest in all of sport. Hear this loud and clear. Tiger will be unaffected by the hurricane surrounding his personal life.
What happened off the course is irrelevant to on it. And look at the slew of other athletes who have returned after a personal storm. One is doing it right now this year. Michael Vick has come back to the top of the mountain with his play as the Philadelphia Eagles starting quarterback.
And, like Vick, Tiger will put his past behind him and focus on golf. It’s the only thing he does and knows.
The fact is this: Tiger has’t played a full season of golf since 2007. That’s a full three years.
Last year was shortened by the personal life issues, with Tiger taking four months before he played a tourney.
2009 was another short year, as Tiger was recovering from knee surgery. He was just getting his golf game back and returning to full health when the November avalanche of sex scandal suffocated him.
And 2008 was cut short after the magical win at the US Open due to the bad knee.
So, 2011 will have Tiger back fully on tour, and he’ll still be ironing out (pun intended) his golf game to top form.
The only real question remains: When and Where will Tiger when his first tournament in 2011? Or maybe, the question is IF?
I expect Tiger to play a schedule similar to the one he played in 2007. And while he always keeps the exact appearances close to the cuff, this is my best guess at both the tourney’s he’ll play to start the year and how he will perform.