Someone asked me a few years ago if I thought Tiger Woods would ever win tournaments again.
I almost laughed. Are you kidding? Tiger is the most talented, most dedicated, most competitive golfer of his generation. Once he gets serious, he’ll be back, with a vengeance.
I looked pretty smart for a while. In 2013, Woods won five times, including the Players Championship and two World Golf Championships, then was named Player of the Year for the 11th time.
But after that, nothing. His game was missing in 2014 and, so far, for 2015. Missed putts and missed cuts dropped his PGA standing from 1st to 187th going into this weekend. He did open at the Wyndham Championship with his best in more than two years Thursday, shooting a 6-under 64.
Still, he faces a struggle to stay alive for the FedEx Cup playoffs, needing at least a second-place finish.
I am among those who never wanted to give up on Tiger, and I may be the last hanger-oner.
I’ve been a diehard fan since he won his third U.S. Amateur title, even have an autograph and framed photo in my office.
I could not imagine watching a golf tournament without Tiger Woods — until this year.
This year the tour has shown such a smorgasbord of golf talent that I can’t pull my eyes away.
In his book, “Slaying the Tiger,’’ writer Shane Ryan examined, up close and personal, the array of young golfers poised to take Tiger’s place on the tour.
But you don’t need a book to tell you who they are. Just watching this year’s tournaments provides evidence enough.
Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy for sure, but also Jason Day and Dustin Johnson and Rickie Fowler, among others.
Already these young lions are doing their best to make us forget Tiger Woods.
In April, Spieth became the second-youngest player to win the Masters, falling about six months shy of Woods when he won in 1997. And last Sunday, Day eclipsed Tiger’s largest total score in a major by firing 20 under par at the PGA Championship.
Contact Bob Bestler at email@example.com.