The long and much-anticipated return of Tiger Woods finally came, as Woods returned to play in the Hero World Challenge this past week.
Woods started off hot in his first round of competitive play, until the back nine where he fizzled. Woods was three-under-par on the front nine on Thursday, but finished the round with a four-over-par back nine to finish at one-over-par for the first day of play.
In recent years when Woods has played, one bad round has usually ended up with him finishing in a bad spot on the leaderboard. In this particular tournament, though, that was not the case, at least for the second and third rounds.
Woods fired back-to-back under-par rounds on Friday and Saturday, putting him in firm contention for his first PGA Tour win in quite some time. The fourth round, though, did not serve well for the 14-time major champion.
In Woods’ final round of play, he finished with three double bogeys – two on the back nine – and dropped from in contention for a win to sole possession of 15th place.
With that being said, let me get into what we learned from Woods’ return at the Hero World Challenge.
Tiger needs to stay consistent
From what I said above, the main thing for Woods – as he returns to competitive play – is that he needs to stay consistent for the two guaranteed rounds he has.
Eliminating the double bogeys is one aspect that he is going to have to work on. Rust definitely could have been a factor at the Hero World Challenge, but even a guy like Woods should know that multiple double bogeys or worse will not lead to being competitive in a tournament.
On a positive note for Woods is that he was first in birdies for the entire tournament, with 24. Woods was consistent in this category, as he made five or more birdies in each round of the tournament.
Overall, eliminating the big numbers on the scorecard, is really the only thing that Woods has to stay consistent at. The putter obviously still works for him and when he gets hot with the putter, then we know what he can do.
Golf is better when Tiger is in contention
There is no doubt that when Woods is in contention for a win, that the ratings increase per golf tournament. Even though Woods has been pretty much absent the last few years, he is still the greatest player of our generation and still one of the most popular.
When he wears his famous Sunday red, viewers tune in, no matter the result.
For me, it’s great to see him playing and enjoying himself out on a golf course. For the PGA Tour, Woods needs to be out there as much as possible, but you also do have to worry about his recent injury history.
Woods has had a slew of back injuries in his career, and that so happens to be the one part of a golfers anatomy that does not need to be injured on a continual basis. Golfers need a healthy back to perform on the golf course, so we do want him to be out there, but we also have to be cognizant of his health.