By Frank Luna
Having not swung a club in anger in months, (at a golf ball), Tiger Woods says he’s ready to hit the course again at this week’s Bridgestone Invitational. The question is, is he ready? Last year at this very golf course, Tiger finished 30 strokes behind winner Hunter Mahan in a tournament he’d won seven times before. He hasn’t finished a competitive round since this years Masters, and he’s been nursing a nagging injury. An injury he now admits he aggravated by trying to come back too soon with disastrous results at The Players Championship, withdrawing after shooting a 42 for 9 holes. Heck, I could do that.
But a closer look at Tiger’s game is needed to properly evaluate whether he is ready to compete again. It’s been a year since his latest swing change, courtesy of instructor Sean Foley. While he only played in seven tournaments, with mostly unimpressive results, something came together for him at the Masters. He even tied for the lead during the final round at Augusta before finishing fourth. Something to build on? Probably, if he hadn’t injured himself in the third round as he reported, Tiger may have had a much different spring and summer.
As Woods tees it up this week at the Firestone Country Club in Akron, all the golf world will be once again focused on arguably the greatest player to every walk a golf course. The throngs of press and patrons a like will be stepping over each other to see the spectacle that is Tiger Woods. That alone is good for golf, good for the players and good for Woods. The only question will be, is Tiger going to be any good?