Live From My Couch: The Return Of The Tiger

It really happened. Tiger Woods teed it up for the first time since his latest back surgery and finished all 18 holes without taking a WD! Not only that, he looked – dare we say – good? F it. He looked fantastic. Sure there’s some work to do, but posting a 3-under 69 with TWO bogeys on par-5s is prettay, prettay, prettay good for not playing in 10+ months and getting a new back.

Let’s take a look at some key takeaways from Thursday’s first round at the Hero World Challenge:

The Strut Was There

TW had some pep in his step right out of the gate, none more evidenced by this 2-iron he hit on the par-5 3rd from 260. It was absolutely nuked and in vintage Tiger fashion, he walked after it like it was 2005. A little confidence always helps. So does pulling off shots like these.

Hello, Old Friend

Tiger has an old friend in the bag this week and it goes by the name Scotty Cameron. After winning multiple majors with this magic wand he ditched for some crap Nike paid him enough money to play. Today was the first competitive round with his Newport 2 GSS putter and you don’t need to be on Match.com to see that the chemistry was evident. He was holing putts from short…to mid…to some would even say, long range. Some for par. Some for birdie. Daddy’s home.

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Fist Pumps For Days

It didn’t take long for Tiger to go to the well and hit us with one of his patented fist pumps. In fact, it only took 4 holes. After a stubby chip, he was eyeing a 25-footer from just off the green and straight up buried it. With a raise of his right hand, he dropped the hammer as he strutted to pluck his Bridgestone out of the hole. He also gave this little gem with a birdie on the 8th.

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Big Cat Still Lets The F-Bombs Fly

Did you expect anything different? But the best had to be this tomahawk job on the par-3 12th

Twitter Was Lit

It might’ve been a Thursday in November, but it felt like Sunday of a major. The excitement of Tiger’s return was palpable and no place was more electric than twitter dot com. The GIFs, the takes … oh lordy the takes … and the sheer emotion of watching a legend return to the game when it was never a guarantee he would ever play again. Plus, he actually flashed glimpses of a guy who’s notched 79 PGA Tour wins and 14 majors.

Other Obvious Observations

He still remembers how to play golf – Sounds crazy but its true. This dude hasn’t played pain-free golf in years. He’s really good and he’s only gonna get better (pending health.)

Short game needs some cleaning up – But really, who’s doesn’t! Little dicey from around the green. We’ll chalk that up to the sticky Bermuda and rust.

Members Bounces – Tiger got a few kicks today that seemed overly generous. Guess that’s the positive thinking. No way he would’ve gotten some of those the past few years

Joey LaCava is still alive and well – Although he was caught on the telecast asking Tiger if what they were standing in was a bunker after he blew a drive way right.

Tiger went sans goatee – While he is arguably the goat, Tiger came in clean-shaven in what feels like the first time in a while. Smooth.

“I’m only three back” – Seriously…this is what TW said after the round. From never playing again to playing himself into contention. That’s what winners do.

It’s only round and there is still a long way to go, but one thing seems certain. This time feels different.

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