According to ESPN, Tiger Woods is ready to return to competitive golf starting with the SAFEWAY Open in November.
Unfortunately for Woods, unlike most golfers returning from injury, he will not be able to gauge his readiness in anonymity. From the time he played in his first amateur tournament the media (and yes, that includes THE 110 NATION) has followed him relentlessly. Woods made golf fun to watch and, undoubtedly brought new fans and players to the game. The downside was that every move, on-course and off, was scrutinized. Not only was every chip, drive and putt scrutinized, but his divorce and affairs were tabloid fodder as well. Unlike participants in other pro sports, golfers as a rule can be out in public without being readily recognized. Unless your name is Palmer, Nicklaus, or Mickelson, you have a chance to rehab both your body and golf game alongside weekend duffers without getting deluged with autograph requests. Tiger Woods doesn’t have that luxury.
Competitive fire and supreme confidence were two traits that Woods always had in abundance when he stepped on a golf course. With the onset of back and knee issues that caused him to step away from golf, he remains confident in his ability. However, a dose of healthy skepticism has seeped into Woods’ athletic personna.
As usual, the world will be watching when Woods steps to the first tee in November at Napa, California.