Tiger is ready for his latest comeback

Excited to see Tiger get back in the mix!!

Almost six months after he was found drugged up to the eyeballs by the side of a Florida highway, Tiger Woods will tee off in the first round of the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas.

That is what you call a comeback. The problem is, we all know what happens with Tiger’s comebacks. He plays a few rounds, starts walking with the movement of a geriatric, and is gone again. You can always rely on your kids for a blunt assessment and Tiger’s are no different. ‘We think of you as the injured golfer,’ 10-year-old Sam and eight-year-old Charlie told him.

So why does this comeback, scheduled to begin later this month at the glittering exhibition event, feel more hopeful? In a podcast interview with basketball coach Geno Auriemma, Woods spoke with a conviction that this one will be long-lasting.

The fusion surgery last March was something new, as was his decision to place his fate entirely in the hands of his medical team.

Sandwiching the interview between a workout and a ‘quick’ 40-mile bike ride, Woods said: ‘I feel really good, my back’s not aching. I’ve never had my back fused and it’s a different feeling. I don’t have the pain which is a new realm for me.

‘Before the surgery, any time I tried to build good posture I would get pain down my leg and my foot wouldn’t work. I can’t believe how far I’m hitting the ball. I’m back to hitting it my full numbers, without really trying.

‘I didn’t realise how much I’d dropped off because of the pain. But now I can tell the difference.’

Woods has been playing practice rounds near his Florida home with Rickie Fowler and Justin Thomas, and has been particularly impressed with the latter. Alongside Dustin Johnson, he describes Thomas as the best ball-striker in the game, which may sting Rory McIlroy a little.

One of the best bits came when Auriemma asked Woods what was going on during his rage-filled 9 & 8 win over Stephen Ames in the WGC-Match Play in 2006. Woods replied: ‘I think he didn’t respect the way I could still play and I had to show him. You’ve no idea how ticked I was to miss the putt on the 10th to beat him 10 & 8.’

Woods told a lovely story of what happened after his two kids met Lionel Messi and Rafael Nadal.

‘You realise you’ve just met two living legends of their sports?’ Woods asked them. Back came the response: ‘Yeah, we know, but we live with one, too.’

Has this particular legend got anything left? Woods admitted that the mental scars from his many operations were such that every time he finds himself playing a shot from an awkward lie his first thought is: ‘Is this the moment my back goes again?’

Certainly, the exhibition event won’t tell us much. It is during the tournament grind early next year that we will find out more, when the weather’s chilly, there will be plenty of awkward lies — and Tiger will have turned 42.

But the hope is there that come the blessed spring and the rite of passage of the Masters, Charlie and Sam will be looking upon Dad as something other than the living legend who is always injured.

Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/golf/article-5055905/Is-Tiger-Woods-ready-comeback-Hero-World-Challenge.html