Tiger Woods does it again, right?

Tiger Woods nailed it at Southern Hills on Thursday.

@ColbyJPowell on Twitter

On Thursday we received a surprising jolt of news: Tiger Woods is doing it again.

The jet trackers fired their radar to discover Woods’ plane was exiting the hangar, departing Florida, and then landing in Tulsa. A trip to Southern Hills, site of next month’s PGA Championship, was underway.

We’re used to the turn of events that followed: Woods’ plane landed on the tarmac and the local news was there to greet him. Social media videos started leaking out of the course itself. The Golf Channel reported that Southern Hills pro head Cary Cosby was carrying a horse with him. Golf Digest reported Woods’ stated intention to play the PGA Championship. I had to.

It is not surprising to see Woods in the south of the hills. It seems reasonable. We heard him say at the Masters that he was hoping to play. We knew he was in on the action. We know Woods cares about the major leagues. And we know Woods plans to play a very selective schedule going forward – one that is supposed to include as many majors as possible. However, the idea that he’s just… back? It takes some getting used to.

After all, what was so surprising about Tiger Woods’ appearance for The Masters was that it was so surprising.

We didn’t know it was Taking into account the Until the previous week, when he undertook a similar expedition. Woods isn’t the type to post Instagram stories about his progress in rehab, but still – the consensus is that he’s been through a lot. He didn’t train enough. He wasn’t ready. His injury was very severe and Augusta was very hilly and you really can’t just randomly show up to play the Masters, after all.

But that’s what Woods did. The crowd followed, feeling they were seeing something miraculous. Here, 14 months after nearly losing his leg, the greatest golfer of his generation is back on the game’s biggest stage–even though he had no clue how he’d fared. His training run on Monday was something of a tiger fest, with spectators rejoicing at his vigor. The entire week felt surreal, like a one-time event. Little did we know for sure that we would see Woods compete in another major event. was here.

Tiger Woods leaning on a club

Tiger Woods never won the Masters title, but he left us all in awe


Dylan Dieter

But now we have evidence that Masters was not alone. On the contrary, the Masters is likely to be the least healthy of Woods in a golf tournament in the near future. He will continue to rehabilitate, train, hit golf balls, and walk around the golf courses. He would continue to jet-set for practice runs in the major leagues and play a tight schedule. A whole bunch has changed — don’t expect him at the Wells Fargo Championship next week — but some things haven’t.

Woods looked good in two videos of the first destination that appeared on the tours. (The Helicopter views stroke him Felt a bit exaggerated, but here we go.) He was wearing a black T-shirt and his signature black pants, which have more pockets than you might expect. He still has a sleeve on his right leg. He moved fairly well, although he did not give up a slight limp. And he still wears FootJoy shoes which, according to sources, were crucial to his ability to play at Augusta National.

If you’re placing bets based on Woods’ first practice round form, well, good luck. I’m not sure there’s much that can be gleaned about his actual playing ability from a single three plank and a few strokes except that Woods is upright and swings well. He doesn’t know Southern Hills like he knew Augusta, and the course will be set up for a different test, but he’s won a PGA Championship there before, in 2007. Plus, he has to be warm. This is important for something.

So what can we expect? First, we can expect Woods to take place in Southern Hills. And assuming his PGA Championship goes off without incident, we can expect Woods to make a similar trip to Brookline to scout for the US Open in late May. We can expect speculation about whether he will play at Memorial, which seems like a long shot. We can expect that he will honor his commitment to the JP McManus Pro-Am two weeks after that. We can expect him on the first pole at St Andrews in the 150 Open Championship. we do not know How He will play in any of the above, but we can increase confidence that he will be there. That’s a big deal.

There are overlapping effects here. Media coverage will increase, but it will focus on a 46-year-old loser. A story would end if he played to the benefit of a story whether he could make the cut, whether he argued, whether he could [gulp] win again. Our huge expectations of Woods are only outweighed by Woods’ expectations of himself.

So get ready, Tulsa. and Boston. And St Andrews for sure. It’s about to get real.

Dylan Dieter

Dylan Dieter

Golf.com editor
Dylan Dieter is a senior writer for GOLF Magazine / GOLF.com. The Williamstown, Massachusetts native joined GOLF in 2017 after two years of squabbling in the mini-tours. Dethier is a graduate of Williams College, where he majored in English, and is an author 18 in Americawhich details the year he spent as an 18-year-old living out of his car and playing a round of golf in each state.

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