How will Tiger Woods do in his return to golf this week?
Writers from around the Tribune Co. discuss Tiger Woods, who is returning to competitive golf this week at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational. Check back throughout the day for more responses and weigh in with a comment of your own.
Barry Stavro, Los Angeles Times
Better than last year, when he was 18-over-par for the tournament and finished 78th in the 81-player field.
Why an improvement this time?
As miserable as 2011 has been for Woods, most fans have forgotten that he almost won the Masters in April –- though his putter is no longer a magic wand in his hands.
Granted, Woods is rusty, again. But like Augusta National, Woods is comfortable on the Firestone course -- he’s won the Bridgestone Invitational seven times -- and this week’s tournament is a small field and there’s no cut so he’ll get in four rounds.
My guess is Woods won’t embarrass himself, and that he’ll finish in the top 15.
Curious that Tiger Woods could be considered a contender at the WGC-Bridgestone, where he’ll be playing for the first time in three months. Sure, Woods has won seven times there since 1999, but isn’t Firestone C.C. also the course where Woods struck his calamitous 18-over-par total just a year ago? That was a 30-shot swing over his winning total of the year before and the symbolic bottom of his golf game.
Since then Woods has played just eight stroke-play events, finishing in the top 10 only once (a tie for fourth at the Masters). He might expect to win every start, but the rest of us need to be more tempered.
Since there isn’t a cut, this is a fine opportunity for Woods to get four competitive rounds in a comfortable environment. Let’s say he finishes in the top 20 on his way to Atlanta for the PGA Championship.
Photo: Tiger Woods hits his tee shot on the eighth hole during a practice round for the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone Country Club on Wednesday. Credit: Matt Sullivan / Getty Images