Because casual golf fans tend to tune out after the year's four major tournaments are all put to bed, some may be surprised to hear that Tiger Woods is playing golf right now.
Yup. He's playing in the Chevron World Challenge at Sherwood Country Club in Thousand Oaks, California. And so far, he's looking pretty good. Tiger has played 10 holes in the first day of competition on Thursday, and he is three-under.
Presently, that's good enough for second place behind K.J. Choi.
Needless to say, this is yet another positive development in Tiger's seemingly never-ending quest to be "back." He looked pretty good at the Australian Open not too long ago, and he helped the United States earn a victory in the Presidents Cup, and now this.
To be sure, the fact that Tiger is contending at the Chevron World Challenge isn't that much of a shock. After all, Tiger lost in a playoff at this event in 2010, and at the time it was easy to believe that he was getting closer to being his old self.
Then came a brief offseason, and then came his disastrous 2011 campaign.
As such, you can be forgiven if you don't want to read too much into Tiger's strong start at the Chevron World Challenge. Even if he wins, he's going to take a break (which, according to ESPN.com, will be for seven weeks) and will then start what is sure to be yet another tough season in 2012. In the grand scheme of things, a win at the Chevron World Challenge won't be worth much.
That may be so, but that doesn't mean you should doubt Tiger's ability to win it. That Tiger has been playing better of late is not a fluke, as he has gotten his swing under control and has had to work through some tough conditions.
For the record, he's working through some rough conditions at Sherwood, too. It's pretty windy in California these days.
Also for the record, it helps that there are only 18 players in the field at the Chevron World Challenge. All of them are most certainly good players, but the simple truth is that there are fewer players for Tiger to contend with.
Make no mistake, a win at the Chevron World Challenge won't mean Tiger is back. But if nothing else, it will be his first win in over two years. It may not be a huge triumph, but it would be a triumph.