April 8, 2010

Tiger’s return to golf

by Dan Bilicki In: Golf

Tiger’s prowling.

It happens today. The greatest golfer in the world will try to make one of the biggest comebacks in the history of sports. He’s starting his return at the biggest event of the season. Yes, Tiger Woods will finally tee off again at the Masters after his self-imposed exile from golf.

After a news conference on Monday and a few practice rounds in front of the public, I’m pretty certain about how this triumphant return will happen; the crowds at Augusta have forgiven the bigamous superstar and are just looking forward to watching him do what he does best: Golf.

It had been debated for weeks and months what the reaction would be, but in the end, it really came down to Tiger’s sincere apologies, his renewed dedication to his beliefs and family and a new attitude towards life and golf.

Yes, the Tiger that used to prowl and intimidate is long gone. The outbursts of emotion – both positive and negative – will be less frequent. We have a kinder, gentler Tiger on our hands. The beast has been tamed. Will this make him a better golfer? Probably not, but he will make him a better man.

There were even stories of Tiger putting a few balls off of the 18th green during a practice round, into the waiting laps of some kids. Would old Tiger ever do that? I highly doubt it. He even was social with the crowds while walking down the fairways. Where was that unrelenting focus?

Like I said, this is a new Tiger. And if I’ve learned anything about this new guy named Woods, it’s this: I’ll no longer be afraid to take “the field” when picking golf. If anything, it’s now the safer bet. After all, could we really have a Masters champion that lacked the killer instinct?

Finally, you really have to feel sorry for Matt Kuchar and K.J. Choi. Those two poor souls have been paired with Tiger for the first two rounds of the tournament and undoubtedly will have to try to avoid wilting under the spotlight that will burn brightly on their threesome.

Translation: Bet against all three of them.

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