Courtesy of MCT
I’ve been hesitant to say the Tiger Woods of old is truly back, but after a sizzling final round performance in the Honda Classic Sunday, it appears he might be as close as ever.
Woods carded a flawless 62, a new career low for a final round, highlighted by two eagles and four birdies. No bogeys.
If this is what we can expect from Woods moving forward, the landscape of golf might be shifting back to one that’s Tiger-infested.
Woods has shown glimpses in the last few months. Since winning the Chevron World Challenge in December – his first win after being mired in scandal nearly two years prior – Woods has begun to put the pieces back together. He’s revamped his swing and seen a rise from No. 58 in the World Golf Rankings to No. 16. He’s been in contention in two of the other tournaments he’s played so far this year – the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship and AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am – before falling short on the final day in each of those tournaments.
He didn’t do that this week. When Woods is struggling, it’s usually with the driver. He hit 11 of 14 fairways Sunday.
When Woods is dominating, it’s usually with the flat stick. He needed only 26 putts Sunday, including draining a long one for eagle on the par-5 third, after hitting 14 of 18 greens in regulation.
Woods put together one of his most impressive ball-striking rounds in the last two years Sunday. When he’s on in nearly all aspects of the game, he’s unbeatable. Nobody has the mental fortitude to take him down when everything else is firing on all cylinders.
That said, Woods has never been one to surge on Sunday. When he wins, it’s because he built a lead through three rounds and scared the crap out of anyone who dared challenge him on Sunday. His final round performance at the Honda Classic might be a head-scratcher in that regard, especially since Sunday has seemingly been his Achilles’ heel so far this year.
Woods’ biggest issue now is carding four good rounds of golf. He’s been close, but he hasn’t been able to put it together for 72 holes. Once he does that, the rest of the golf world should start shaking in its collective golf shoes.
Sunday’s 62 is a glimpse at Woods’ capabilities. We haven’t seen him put together many of these fist-pumping rounds in his two-year slump. If he can continue to build on momentum, one month from now, the field at Augusta National – a course Woods loves – has something to be scared of.