No one athlete has ever found themselve under a microscope like Tiger Woods has over the last six months. His life has been changed upside down in the face of cheating on his wife Elin, and Tiger has had to look himself in the camera and admit to the world what he did wrong.
That's not easy for anyone to do, especially someone with the fame and popularity of Tiger Woods. A billion dollar athlete, Woods returned to Augusta and finished tied for fourth. He came to win, but ultimately he lost his swing yet finished in the top five.
I first saw Tiger Woods play last June at the U.S. Open at Bethpage Black. His build is that much more intimidating and his eyes are that of a hawk look for its next prey. I was amazed at how he presented himself and unfortunately on that Monday finish he couldn't get a putt to drop.
That was almost a year ago, and this same Tiger Woods has been through a lot. As he returns for his second PGA tournament this season, look to see a Tiger more determined then ever. Woods realizes that he has to come back early and win to show to the world that he still has the game that won him 14 majors.
This year's green jacket winner, Phil Mickelson, has been catching a lot of attention. After dealing with his mother and wife both being diagnosed with breast cancer last year his win at Augusta much more significance than a major.
As Jim Nantz put it, "a win for the family." How cliche when the talk the entire week surrounded around Tiger Woods the cheater who had seeking therapy for what many suspect is some sort of sex addiction. As the year continues, the stories and reports will continue to come up, but let it be known Tiger Woods winning golf tournaments solves a lot of problems.
Woods spent the last couple weeks with the family scuba diving and relaxing. He also worked on his swing fixing what left him struggling on Saturday and Sunday at the Masters.
He also played a round with fellow friend John Cook at his home course Isleworth where he shot 63, and recorded a double eagle on the 17th hole where he holed out a five-wood from 246 yards.
With that being said, Woods needs to make a statement at Quail Hollow. The whispers have begun that he will never be the same golfer again, and although I think those remarks are very premature, it doesn't get easier to win with age.
Yes the game of golf has been revolutionized today, but many major champions struggled to win the big tournaments after age 35.
Bobby Jones retired at age 28. Watson did win a major after he turned 33, and he was 34. Nicklaus, besides his win at Augusta in '86, didn't win a major after 35. Arnold Palmer and Ben Hogan fall right in that same age range.
That's not saying it can't be done. I still believe Tiger Woods will win between 20-23 majors by the end of his career. The problem is he only has four chances a year, and time is not on his side.
Then again that's an issue for another day. This week is all about Quail Hollow and at this championship length golf course Woods needs to let his competitors know that he is back playing with the guys to win PGA tournaments.
Go get them Tiger!