Upon Further Review
8:00 PM EDT, April 11, 2011
On Sunday, Tiger Woods was back on top of the leader board in a major for the first time since the summer of 2008. But is Tiger really back?
Woods' charge on Sunday at the Masters was the cherry on top of the wildest day in major championship history since the 1999 British Open (when Jean Van de Velde wasted a three-shot lead on the final hole).
For much of the day, Wood was very much like the Tiger of old: the guy who had every shot in the bag, exactly when the moment called for it.
He hit an “out of this world” approach on the 8th hole...setting up an eagle, to pull him within a shot of the lead.
Then, the par saving putt on #9, when he absolutely had to have it. Vintage Tiger. And Woods was tied for the lead on Sunday, for the first time in a major, since the 2008 US Open.
Big shots, like he's hit his entire career, put Tiger Woods in position to end the longest drought of his career. But small shots, like the missed par save on 12 – the kind this Tiger no longer seems to make – kept him from having a real chance down the stretch.
Clearly, the reconstruction of Woods' swing is progressing. But Tiger remains still a work in progress.
I need to see more from Tiger before I'm convinced he's back. Or even close to being back. And for a guy with his resume, more means only one thing. Winning. Consistently. And convincingly.
So while this week at Augusta was a good sign for Tiger Woods and the millions of fans who still follow him, I'll be careful before anointing Tiger Woods as the reincarnation of himself. (Maybe the next Charl Schwartzel.)
But I do know this. Sunday at the Masters was a lot more fun with his name among the eight who took a turn atop the leader board.I hope to see it there again soon.
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