The month of January represented the start of the 2019 PGA season. For players such as Tiger Woods, it is imperative that they start out with a good performance. In Woods’ case it’s not necessarily about the prize money, but more importantly it’s the FedEx point standing that matters. The point standings keep Tiger in the mix to compete for those major championships that he holds so dear.
I had the opportunity to watch him participate at the Farmers Open in San Diego at the Torrey Pines golf course last month. The venue itself is spectacular with beautiful vistas of the Pacific Ocean, grass so green it was almost shameful to play on it, and phenomenal weather of 74 degrees.
In the first two days of play, Tiger moved around the golf course like the place belonged to him. He also had the biggest fan galleries following him from hole to hole and the media was ever-present. He struggled off the tee at times by missing the fairway but was able to regroup well enough to make the cut on Friday afternoon which gave him the opportunity to compete through the weekend. On Sunday, the last day of the tournament, Tiger finished strong. Shooting ten under for the first four days. The tournament was won by the world’s number one player, Justin Rose, who finished 21 under par. In the post tournament interview, Tiger mentioned that he was encouraged with his short game, wedge play, and putting. He stated that he will continue to work on improving driving the ball with accuracy which should put him in better position to win.
My take is that Tiger Woods is a phenomenon, after having major back fusion surgery and his ability to compete at a high level. His next tournament will be in Southern California at the Genesis Open located in beautiful Pacific Palisades. If Tiger plays a limited number of tournaments and continues to take care of his health, there is no reason why winning a major this year cannot be in his grasp. As someone who watched his career develop from his amateur days at Stanford University, to his latest round at the Farmers, I’m encouraged at where Tiger is in his game.