Tiger Woods announced Tuesday that his highly anticipated return to competitive golf will come April 8th at The Masters. The four-time Masters champion will end his four-month hiatus prompted by his admission to extramarital affairs. Michael and Tony discuss Tiger’s return and his chances next month at Augusta.
Felger: “For Tiger it’s about bangin sluts and sinkin’ putts.”
Felger: “Tiger is one of those guys where if he wants it and he has to have it then he’s going to take it. If he changes his mentality off the golf course then how isn’t his mentality on the golf course going to change? It’s about banging sluts and sinking putts for Tiger and that’s it. Until he’s doing those two things he won’t be back mentally. If he doesn’t care about his family and is going to keep doing the same old song and dance then he will come roaring back at Augusta. If he legitimately cares about his wife and kids and changing as person there is no way he can fully be recovered from what he’s been through this quickly. If you change how you’re wired as a person then that changes you as a golfer.”
Mazz: “Didn’t you just know he was going to come back for The Masters? There was no way he was going to miss a Major Championship because to him it’s all about Jack’s record. Tiger grew up with a great appreciation for the history of the game. This was a well orchestrated campaign for Tiger to make his return at Augusta. If Tiger struggles out of the gate and then starts to win tournaments people are going to wonder what he’s doing on the side to lead to the success. He’s going to have the doubters and people will have second thoughts as to whether or not he’s actually changed his ways. Has he genuinely changed as a person? It seems that he has or at least we all hope so.”
The Collin-tary: Tiger Woods has won 71 PGA Tour events and 14 Major Championships. However, the 2010 Masters is arguably the most important golf tournament of his career. April 8th is Tiger’s chance to prove to the world, and more importantly himself, that he is still the greatest golfer of all-time.
For the first time in his career, Woods is realizing that he needs golf as much as it needs him. He has paid a dear price for his “transgressions”, and knows the quickest way to move on with his life is to win tournaments. Tiger plays well when battling adversity, but plays his best when he has something to prove. He will be a highly motivated, extremely angry, and downright ferocious competitor in 2010.
When Woods arrives on the first tee at Augusta National he will be a man on a mission. He is now ready to step out of the limelight, face his past, and move on from it. Woods will return to golf refocused and more motivated than ever to silence his critics. Tiger-like roars from the gallery will once again be heard around Amen Corner come Sunday at Augusta.
I have covered Woods at the 2007 & 2009 Deutsche Bank Championships as well as numerous other tournaments in 2008 while working for the PGA Tour. One thing I took from my experience was that when Tiger Woods steps between the ropes, the next shot is all that matters. Tiger’s unparalleled focus coupled with his world class talent will help him return to the leader board sooner rather than later.