by Jeff Skinner
Whatever was old is new again, so they say. At The Chevron World Challenge it looks like the “old” Tiger is new again. In a dramatic day of back and forth with Zach Johnson, Tiger finally found the winners circle for the first time in over two years.
Woods and Johnson both played well in the final round and it was match play between the two all afternoon. With the two of them tied going into sixteen, Johnson sank a clutch birdie putt to pull one ahead of Woods. Then Johnson hit a good shoot into the par three seventeenth but Woods didn’t blink. He stuck it inside of Johnson and after Johnson’s birdie attempt slid by Woods stepped up and drained it in vintage Tiger fashion. The putting stroke was back and so was the fist pump.
They were even going into the last and once again Tiger stuck his approach slightly inside of Johnson. It boiled down to another putting contest and once again Johnson’s putt slid by the hole leaving Woods with his birdie putt to win. He turned the clock back and it looked like a scene from his glory days. The putt rolled in dead center and Woods celebrated with an emphatic fist pump and his broadest smile of the day.
“It feels awesome,” he said afterwards “Going head to head against Zach all day was fun, was fun for both of us.”
All things considered this is a significant moment for Woods and for golf. Yes, it is only 18 players, it is not official money, and it’s not a major or even an official tournament. Heck, it’s not even The Reno-Tahoe Open or The John Deere, but it is a win and that was a much needed step in the long road back that Woods has been on.
After two years of drama, controversy and swing changes Woods looks more like the “old Tiger” than he has in a long time. The Tiger haters will say it means little against such a small field. The Tiger lovers are already chanting “Tiger’s back.” Surely this victory means more to Woods than it would have to any other player in the field. He needed something like this to regain some of his long lost confidence.
Hate him or love him, this is undeniable: his story isn’t finished. Is this win the start of a New Tiger Era or is it just a silly season win. After the win Tiger said he was ready for the season to be over after working hard rebuilding his swing for so long. But you have to believe that he can’t wait to get back out there again and prove that he is once again Tiger Woods.