Step by step, Tiger Woods is proving himself to be a professional golfer again. While he is not the same as he used to be – that is already out of his reach – he is the best he can be at this point in his life, after twelve surgeries on his torso and legs.
On the second day of the Hero World Challenge in Bahamas, an unofficial tournament (although with ranking points) that he sponsors and in which he has chosen for his umpteenth competitive return, he signed a card with -2 for a cumulative of +1, which represents his first under par card in more than nine months.
Tiger Woods, results
His last card under par dates back to February 18, during the third round of the Genesis Invitational, another event in which he hosted and which was his only appearance at the Masters this year. At Riviera, with a pair of 71s, he shot a 69, 74, 67 and 73, finishing 45th in the standings.
At Augusta, with a pair of 72, he had to retire after rounds of 74 and 73. Shortly after, he underwent new surgery to repair a right ankle that practically “no longer exists,” in his own words at a conference of press last Tuesday, and has stayed away from the fields until now.
Upon his reintegration on Thursday, a lack of agility was noted in his game. Fatigue became evident in the final stage of the match, according to the player, and he was seen performing stretching and warm-up exercises on numerous occasions.
Although he does not feel any discomfort in his ankle, he does suffer from pain in his back and knee, areas that received the force of his swing and that, due to a previous operation, no longer tolerate it. He especially emphasized his mental rust due to these months of inactivity which, he believes, led him to make wrong decisions and, subsequently, to the five bogeys and a double bogey that marked his first game with 75 strokes, two above the pair of the field.
“I just didn’t fully focus on what I was doing and feeling. I guess you take playing for granted all the time. I knew I would be fine physically. But, mentally, I was very rusty and made a lot of mental mistakes that I normally don’t make,” he said.
. Currently, El Tigre occupies fifteenth place in the score table of a group of 20 competitors, far from success, which is not his goal for this week either. The same goes for Will Zalatoris, who is also in the recovery process after suffering a back injury that kept him out of the game for most of the year, and who managed to make significant progress going from -4 to + 5 after starting his game on Thursday with 81 strokes, thus evidencing his period of convalescence.