Blog Entry

Tiger Woods reminds us he's still here

Posted on: March 4, 2012 4:53 pm
Edited on: March 4, 2012 5:00 pm
Tiger Woods swings in the final round of the Honda Classic. (Getty Images)

By Shane Bacon

There is golf, and then there is golf that involves Tiger Woods. On Sunday at the Honda Classic, it seemed we’d get the first one, a big golf tournament with a super talented field and the guy trying to take away what is Tiger’s and run with it. People were excited. The week had been great. It was Rory McIlroy’s chance to shine. 

But a funny thing happened internally for Tiger Woods. He decided to be competitive again. And no, I’m not suggesting that Tiger hasn’t wanted to win or hasn’t wanted to get better and hasn’t wanted to be the golfer he once was. His closing finish on Friday showed us that he is still a fiery guy who hates losing and wants to pull off every shot possible, no matter the circumstances.

But after his remarks about McIlroy on Saturday and his Ben Crenshaw-esque reminder that “you never know” when asked about his chances on Sunday, it seemed that something was bothering Tiger and it was time to change it. 

Let us be clear here; one round isn’t going to remake a career. The final round 62 Tiger posted on Sunday was absolutely remarkable for a number of reasons, but it really just reminded us that Tiger Golf, the events that have him in the mix, just feel different. He’s a needle-mover if there has ever been one in professional sports, and when a guy like that goes on a tear like he did at the Champions Course it forces everyone to drop what they’re doing and just stare in awe. My dad called me after Tiger’s putt dropped for eagle on 18, resulting in a double fist-pump by Woods that, frankly, has been missed by golf fans. My sister sent me a text message. I saw messages on Twitter from sports writers that I didn’t even know could spell “golf” before Sunday. 

Tiger Golf is special. It’s fun. It’s energizing. And to think, he did all this with the New Tiger, Mr. McIlroy, in total control of the tournament? Incredible. 

A lot of things happened on Sunday that were different. Tiger started a round and finished it. He made the putts he needed to make, and they weren’t just curling in putts, they were slammed in the back of the hole. He got excited. He was in the round. He was as focused as I’d seen him in ages. 

No, this 62 won’t mean much in a few months if he doesn’t win. Rory is in charge and it will be a special moment in golf for the boy wonder to land the official ranking that we’ve all been unofficially giving him for a couple of years. 

But the fact that it happened was as important to the game as one round could be. Tiger Woods played 18 holes like we all know he can, and it ended in (and I haven’t been able to use this phrase in a long time) typical Tiger fashion. 

Great stuff, Mr. Woods. Great stuff.

Check out the new Eye on Golf Facebook page and follow Shane Bacon and Eye On Golf on Twitter. 

Since: Jan 17, 2007
Posted on: March 5, 2012 4:04 pm

Tiger Woods reminds us he's still here

Dude Manly: Golf w/o TW may be getting less relevant to YOU, my friend, and to other Tiger-only fans that wouldn't know a dormie from a stymie, but to true golf fans, the game will ALWAYS be relevant, just as it was for 100 years BEFORE Tiger came on the scene.  Does he help pump up TV ratings? Yes, of course, but only because the Tiger-only fans like you don't pay attention unless he is doing well.  Golf will be just fine without Tiger, when he retires, and will certainly be better off without people like you.

Since: Jan 19, 2009
Posted on: March 5, 2012 1:39 pm

Tiger Woods reminds us he's still here

Sure he gagged at Augusta, but that is history now.  Didn't he follow it up with a record setting performance at the US Open where he lapped the field??  Had the failure at the Masters not been followed up by that you'd maybe have a point.  AND Lately he's in the top five everytime he plays.  And what I think the article was trying to say is that fans and the media knew this day was coming and have been predicting it for a couple of years now because when you watch him it is clear how much talent he has rrelative to the field, not that he actually should have been #1 for the last two years.

Since: Sep 5, 2006
Posted on: March 5, 2012 1:25 pm

Tiger Woods reminds us he's still here

The article says "giving McIlroy the #1 ranking we all knew he should have the last couple of years?" like when he choked at augusta last year ? he didn't deserve to be the #1 ranked player the last few years. westwood, donald had the title. now he has it. lets see how long he holds it for.

Since: Jan 19, 2009
Posted on: March 5, 2012 12:51 pm

Tiger Woods reminds us he's still here

Have to disagree there.  What golf needs isn't simply Tiger to go on winning forever, because he can't, Father Time catches up with us all at some point.  What golf NEEDS is exactly what Rory McIlroy can possibly give, a new young phenom who will wow us with incredibly ability and begin a new era of dominance.  Will it be more exciting if Tiger plays well over the next few years??? ABSOLUTELY YES.  But it will be better if someone like Rory becomes the new dominant player and guys like Tiger and Phil begin to play the role of underdogs as aging stars, much like Conners did when Samprass and Aggassi were the top dogs in tennis, to use your tennis analogy.  Tennis didn't die with McEnroe and Connors in this country it died after the Aggassi, Sampras era as no young American stepped up.

With golf, While Rory is not American he is still a compelling star, and there is surely some young American talent that will challenge him sooner rather than later.  Combine
some younger American stars like Dustin Johnson, Hunter Mahan and Rickie Fowler  with our aging stars like Tiger and Phil and golf will be in a good place with Rory on top.

Since: Apr 3, 2008
Posted on: March 5, 2012 12:11 pm

Tiger Woods reminds us he's still here

From previous posts the one constant is how polarizing Tiger Woods is although purists are ok with Rory, Phil, Lee Westwood or even Rickie Fowler winning the majority of tournaments.  It's the vintage "it's good for golf if there is competition".  Those folks feel there is too much hype about Tiger and not enough about the "phenom du jour" Rory McIlroy.

Tiger is the greatest driving force the game has seen since Arnold Palmer.  With the advancements of technology, Tiger's reknown is greater than Arnie.  I don't care whether he pumps his fist or yells while he plays.  Folks love him or hate him.  I want Tiger to win every time he steps up to the first tee. If it weren't for Tiger Woods there would be a lot less golfers out there. The popularity of the sport is directly related to Tiger Woods' well deserved popularity.  There is more demand for golf clubs, golf balls and everything else related to golf because of Tiger Woods.  The only benefit of Tiger not playing well is there would be less of a wait at local public courses.  Golf would go the way of the Post Jimmy Conors, John McEnroe era, into the apathetic sport it has become.  Roger Federer is great but John and Jimmy, Chrissie, Martina, Venus, Serina and Billie Jean made tennis relevent.

Tiger made golf relevent and right now without Tiger winning tournaments the sport is becoming less and less relevent.  

Muhammad Ali did it. He came back to make the heavyweight division relevent.  Mike Tyson gave boxing a breath of new air.  If we want golf to become relevent again Tiger must win.  We can only hope. 

Since: Mar 21, 2008
Posted on: March 5, 2012 12:01 pm

Tiger Woods reminds us he's still here

This is a great article.  Sunday is what gets me excited about golf.  Its the spectacle of seeing things that are truly unusual.  Thast what Tiger brings to golf.  To date since Tiger has come to golf, no other golfer has brought this to golf.  Every other golfer is really good, buit because they contend once or twice a year, they are like us, hacks.  So thats boring.    Tiger brings the "Holy Cow, I can't believe he did that" to the game.  Great article.

Since: Jan 19, 2009
Posted on: March 5, 2012 9:19 am

Tiger Woods reminds us he's still here

Remember for a long long time only Phil could physically do what Tiger could(and Daly too but we all now his tired story), and we all also know if Phil was not such a mental patient and had taken less chances down the stretch of some of his major collapses, he'd easily have won 8-10 majors by now.

The scary thing is McIlroy DOES have the the extemely rare talent we've been waiting for a long time for some young player to have, and he showed yesterday at 22 that he has already learned what it took Mickelson until he was in his mid thirties.  And that is that when you are leading sometimes just shooting even par is enough, you don't need to take unnecessary chances and possibly throw it away.

Since: Jan 19, 2009
Posted on: March 5, 2012 9:08 am

Tiger Woods reminds us he's still here

Maybe he will be back, although Im not sure ONE great round when he really didn't have a realistic shot to win is proving he's all the way back, but it's a start.

The problem for him is simple, tha gap has closed significantly.  There are too many great young players that can do what he does.  Remember Lee Westwood also shot an incredible round with a 63 yesterday and also DIDN"T win.

If this had been several years ago, the player on top wouldve choked and handed it to Tiger, he won many a tourney that way, and so did Jack, so Im not criticizing just saying that he and Jack intimidated their way to easy wins more often than not.

McIlroy looked at the leader board, saw Woods name up there and knew what he had to do.  He had to wait extremely long on each hole through the Bear Trap too, so he had plenty of time to let doubt creep in and choke.  Instead he played it safe didn't go for the sucker pins on the par threes and showed off an amazing short game and therefore got it done.

Since: Sep 9, 2008
Posted on: March 5, 2012 8:17 am

Tiger Woods reminds us he's still here

Gimmie, your replies are meaningless at best. You are a self confessed Woods Only Fan. Hence your input is extremely limited . There are a plethora of interesting posters on this forum. You are not in that group. In fact you never have been.


Since: Sep 16, 2007
Posted on: March 5, 2012 6:40 am

Tiger Woods reminds us he's still here

noko: You know what? Just go ahead and say whatever you like. I won't even bother replying, because all by yourself, you do far more damage to your "reputation" than I ever could. You can be the Rush Limburger of the Golf forum.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or