Off the Tee: Tiger’s Quick Return, Another Young Winner, Previewing Dubai and Phoenix
You can file Tiger Woods' latest comeback under 'blink and you missed it'.
After 17 months away from the PGA Tour, the former #1 player in the world was in the field recently at the Farmers Insurance Open in San Diego. In round one, Tiger bogeyed the first hole, but settled in for eight straight pars to finish the front nine one-over-par. He even got to one-under with birdies on 10 and 11, despite missing the fairway on both holes.
That erratic play would catch up with him on the final seven holes.
Tiger missed the fairways again on 12 and 13, and bogeyed both holes, putting him at one-over. That was followed by another bogey on 14 and a tee shot so bad on 15 that he was forced to take a drop and ended up with a six on the hole.
After another bogey on 17, he did finish with a birdie on 18, but the damage was done. as he finished the round with a four-over-par 76.
Tiger did play much better in round two, carding a bogey and birdie on each nine to finish the day at even par, but it wasn't enough to keep him from missing the cup on a course where he's won eight times in the past.
In this edition of 'Off The Tee' I talk with Joel Harrington from 4 Deep Golf blog about Tiger's first 36 holes since 2015, plus:
- Tiger's new equipment deal with TaylorMade
- 22-year old Jon Rahm's Farmers Insurance Open victory, his first on the PGA Tour
- A preview of this week's Dubai Desert Classic, which will feature Tiger, and the world's number four player - Henrik Stenson.
- Sergio Garcia is also in the field in Dubai. He's getting a lot of attention for letting a fan be his caddie for the week
- Back home, one of golf's most lively atmospheres - the Waste Management Phoenix Open is this week. The field features a quartet of top ten players - Hideki Matsuyama (5), Jordan Spieth (6), Justin Thomas (8), and Patrick Reed (9)
- The European Tour has announced some big changes for Ryder Cup Qualification, dropping the number of required events to four
Here's my conversation with Joel: