Tiger Woods reappeared this previous weekend. However his reappearance didn’t come at Harbour City alongside a subject of the world’s finest golfers. As a substitute, it got here at Frederica Golf Membership, a St. Simon’s Island oasis the place a close-by golfer snagged a short video of Woods and his son Charlie teeing it up. Tiger regarded good: untucked Nike shirt, highly effective swing, simple weight shift. Charlie regarded unimpressed.
We didn’t hear from Woods, after all. Not earlier than, once we had been interested by his enjoying schedule. Not throughout — Woods tends to maintain all his excursions fairly quiet in actual time. And never within the days since, because the Tour has taken middle stage within the sports activities world regardless of its largest title hanging out at house. That is definitely not a criticism of Woods, who has less-than-zero obligation to tee it up in public throughout a world pandemic. Nevertheless it served as additional reminder that that is the brand new regular with Woods and the Tour: he’ll enter the dialog (and the tournaments) sometimes and at all times on his phrases.
The four-second clip from Frederica revealed a lot. Loads of dads and sons teed it up on Father’s Day Sunday. Most fathers aren’t Tiger Woods. Ever because the PGA Tour introduced its Return To Golf (all caps, simply cuz) followers have eagerly awaited the second when that Return would come with Woods, too. Publications like this one tried to foretell once we’d have our first Tiger sighting. Wouldn’t it come at an unfamiliar venue? He predictably skipped Colonial, however however halfway by event week the phrase began spreading that Woods’ yacht was on the transfer from Florida, headed north.
This yacht-tracking is the kind of factor we’ve began to do in recent times to comply with varied public figures. It’s a primary cousin of the plane-tracking SEC soccer followers do to trace interviewees for head teaching vacancies and, you could possibly argue, an indication of societal decay. No matter. If individuals can observe Tiger Woods’ boat, they are going to. And whereas watching Riggs from Barstool follow Privacy (the boat) up the japanese seaboard was hardly affirmation of something, it was undeniably intriguing. Why would Woods cruise his 155-footer as much as Sea Island the week earlier than the Tour would contact down simply up the coast if he had no intention of enjoying?
However he didn’t play. Not within the Tour occasion, a minimum of. The phrase from on the bottom was that Davis Love III related Woods with somebody at Frederica after which he and Charlie acquired out for a spherical. That was all. The yacht wasn’t sure for Hilton Head and it definitely wasn’t en path to New Haven, Conn. for the Vacationers. It’s again in south Florida now, docked nearer Woods’ home.
Wednesday felt just like the Tour’s largest potential second since play restarted. In latest days, Nick Watney and Cameron Champ had examined optimistic for the coronavirus however these had nonetheless felt like remoted incidents; abruptly one other wave of coronavirus-related WDs rolled by. Brooks Koepka and Graeme McDowell withdrew after their caddies, Ricky Elliott and Ken Comboy, examined optimistic. Chase Koepka pulled out as a result of he’d frolicked close to Elliott, too. Webb Simpson headed house after a member of the family examined optimistic. As McDowell told the AP’s Doug Ferguson: “The snowball is getting somewhat greater now.”
Because the WDs rolled out, one after the other, and golf followers began speculating the entire occasion might be known as, Woods’ account despatched out a tweet selling an public sale for a signed Monster workers bag. There was nothing remotely mistaken with this — nevertheless it exacerbated the divide between the world’s most well-known golfer and the day-to-day operations of its high league. Let’s assessment his 2019-2020 PGA Tour season up to now:
-Received the Zozo Championship
-Made simply three complete begins, fewer than any participant contained in the FedEx Cup high 200
-Performed as many exhibitions (the Hero World Problem, the Presidents Cup and The Match II) as Tour occasions — and performed effectively every time
-Skipped Bay Hill and the Gamers as a result of he didn’t really feel his physique was prepared
Probably the most coherent narrative right here is that Woods has been excellent when he’s been absolutely wholesome, however he hasn’t at all times been absolutely wholesome. When he hasn’t been wholesome, he hasn’t pressured something. We should always anticipate that to proceed.
Woods has disappeared for varied completely different stretches over the previous decade, however this time feels completely different. He’s no spring hen, however he’s not hopelessly injured like he was in 2016. He’s not sorting by his private life like he was in 2010. He’s hardly retired; he’s the defending Masters champ and nonetheless the No. 14 participant on the planet. As a substitute, he’s being selective. He’s watching and ready.
To hearken to Jay Monahan, the Tour will roll on, this week in Hartford and subsequent week in Detroit and the next two weeks in Columbus. That’s the place we’re prone to see Woods, three weeks from now, prepping for the Memorial. The yacht gained’t make the journey to Ohio, however the golfer will. With luck, he’ll inform us somewhat bit extra then: the kind of stuff been as much as, how he’s feeling, what he thinks of golf’s coronavirus response. Till then, we’ll proceed to look at the PGA Tour’s newest chapters unfold — even with out its primary character.