There was a time in the history of Golf dubbed ‘Tiger Time’ unlike the Football analogy ‘Fergie Time’ which related to the manipulation of the match-day clock by the former Manchester United manager, Sir Alex Ferguson.
This was merely a period of unrivalled excellence on the golf course by arguably the greatest player we’ve ever seen – Tiger Woods.
Despite a high profile fall from grace, brought about amid rumours and then confessions of ‘playing away’ , many argued that Tiger would never be the same again, oh how wrong they were, because Tiger is back and roaring once again, perhaps louder than ever.
In his pomp, Tiger had bookmakers around the world running scared, barely ever was he not the favourite and trading somewhere around the even money prices, fast forward several years and he’s not quite that short in the markets, but maybe he should be.
Last week at the Bridgestone Invitational, Woods romped home to a seven shot victory over Swede Henrick Stenson and the USA’s Keegan Bradley, a victory which gave him his 8th title in the competition. He also matched his personal low round of 61, a feat that shows the man from California is right on top of his game.
When he steps up to the tee of the Oakland Hills Country Club, in the plush district of Rochester, New York on Thursday, he will be looking to add to the 4 USPGA Championships he already holds from 1999, 2000, ‘06 and ‘07 respectively.
When he does hit his first shot at around 13.35 (BST) he will do so alongside 2011 winner Keegan Bradley and 1997 champion Davis Love III, but there can be no doubt as to who the loudest cheers will be for.
Many have written the man off and many have stated that his off course antics have jeopardised his chance at eclipsing 18 majors picked up by the great Jack Nicklaus, (Tiger is currently on 14) but I for one am not buying it and come Sunday we could be seeing Tiger’s tally hitting 15.
Some will not forgive Woods for his antics but many will forget that he hasn’t taken home one of the ‘Big 4’ since 2008, especially if, come Sunday, we see him strolling down the last, putter in hand, a couple of shots to the good and dressed in resplendent red, a colour which Tiger thinks makes him look more aggressive.
It will be a sight to behold, I’m tuning in, are you?
image: © Keith Allison