by Jeff Skinner
It seems rather odd that in the middle of November when most of the U.S. is trading in golf clubs for leaf blowers and snow shovels we can sit back and watch some warm weather golf in prime time. Thanks to the wonders of television and the world-wide appeal of the game The Golf Channel is giving us some wonderful golf in the evening as we face the oncoming winter.
At the Presidents Cup Warm Up Tournament, The Emirates Australian Masters, Tiger Woods is giving the Aussies and Fred Couples just what they wanted: a bit of the “old Tiger.” Woods showed signs that the rust is gone and that the swing changes have finally taken hold. He hit more crisp irons and solid drives in the first round than he has in the last two years. He was even better in the second round as his five under 67 left him in an unfamiliar position, in first place.
That was all most fans needed to see as the “Tiger is Back” chant could be heard from Sydney to Ponte Verda. But let’s not get too crazy. Tiger will be the first to say that one or two rounds don’t make a tournament. Everyone plays 72 holes (except John Daly) and there is still plenty of golf left to be played. As of this writing, Tiger is struggling to find his rhythm as he bogeyed the first three holes and just let loose with a “God Damn It” as he pulled a three wood well left. But the golf Tiger has played so far down under certainly should give him and us, hope that he is back on the right track. His game looks better and he looks better but don’t start handing him any trophies yet. There’s still a ways to go.
Tiger isn’t the only golfer trying to relive the glory of victory gone by. Fifty one year old Juli Inkster is tied for first place at the LPGA’s Lorena Ochoa Invitational in Mexico. Inkster hasn’t won in five years and is constantly threatening retirement. A win here for Inkster certainly would be well received as she is one of the most beloved players in women’s golf.
Saturday gives us two good tournaments with plenty of great storylines. After you raked some leaves or cleaned some gutters kick back, turn on The Golf Channel and watch them both. There’s nothing like prime time golf.