What are we expecting from Tiger at the Hero World Challenge?
Alex Perry: Can anyone see past four rounds in the low to mid 70s and a T14 finish?
Tom Irwin: What would it do to everyone else if he did win? It would instantly restore the fear factor that has been so important to him and so diminished by the last four years. For all sorts of reasons I hope he completes for rounds with no short game demons and no health issues.
Alex Perry: Assuming he completes four rounds – where do you think he finishes?
Tom Irwin: I have no idea and don’t particularly think it matters.
Alex Perry: Don’t write in it’s just for fun.
Tom Irwin: If he has no chyips then he is going to no worse than 8-under where does that get you?
Alex Perry: I think he’d take 8-under if you offered it to him now. He wouldn’t admit it, of course.
Tom Irwin: He would take four rounds with no health issues and no chyips.
Dan Murphy: I would say that if he completes the tournament and his short game is functional then that represents a tremendous success. Don’t forget he made more birdies than anyone else in the field at the same event in the same scenario last year.
Alex Perry: So you don’t think he finishes dead last?
Dan Murphy: I don’t think he will finish last, no.
Steve Carroll: Why would he finish last?
Alex Perry: Because someone has to.
James Savage: And because he hasn’t played for nearly a year.
Steve Carroll: He hadn’t last year either. He didn’t finish last a year ago and his swing looks about 50 per cent better than it did then.
James Savage: He’s more mentally scarred this time around?
Steve Carroll: The thing is he will be trying for four days. There’s no cut, it’s a guaranteed pay day and someone will down tools when they haven’t got a chance of featuring towards the top of the leaderboard.
Alex Perry: Not naming names?
Steve Carroll: You’d have to read my betting column…
Mark Townsend: I think he’ll finish last, I have no idea how he managed to shoot 65 last year.
James Savage: What an absolute joke the world ranking points are this week. If Tiger wins he climbs over 1,000 places to 135. It stinks if you ask me.
Mark Townsend: If he wins he deserves to go into the top 10.
James Savage: Why? Because he’s had a bad back and been done for DUI?
Mark Townsend: Because he won’t win. If he finishes above anyone they should have a tickertape parade around New York. Judging by three Twitter swings he looks stronger than last time but that doesn’t really translate to four 67s with the whole world watching.
James Savage: Swing looks functional. If he out-drives DJ I’ll eat a dozen golf balls.
Tom Irwin: Putting everything else aside it would be the most amazing thing that has ever happened in sport if he makes a proper comeback and competes and beats people from entirely new era. It would be like Jack Nicklaus and Marty McFly wrapped into one.
Mark Townsend: Or Olazabal winning the Masters again.
Tom Irwin: This person was seeing off Faldo, Seve and Norman before Speith had even been invented and Rahm was just a hover board in his mum’s eye.
Alex Perry: “Lads, shall we let Tiger win?”
Tom Irwin: It is amazing how much players are willing to comment and marvel at him still. They are basically rooting for him.
Alex Perry: That would be my take on it, yes.
Tom Irwin: He doesn’t seem to polarise his peers in the same way he does fans. That is quite interesting, respect for his achievements seems to override all of his failings as a human. I think that is almost the sentiment – but it will change quickly if he becomes a real threat I guess. I think they would like him finishing 5th in every major for a while
Mark Townsend: Will he not choose who he plays with as it’s his event? So Mark O’Meara.
Tom Irwin: Chris Riley?
Mark Townsend: Notah Begay?
Alex Perry: Get Stevie Williams back on the bag.
Tom Irwin: Michael Jordan? But not YE Yang.
Alex Perry: He’s playing with JT. Who wins that two-ball?
James Savage: I think JT will be one of the players taking it seriously as he’s not far off being World No. 1.
Alex Perry: He said he’s excited to have a front-row seat, but also looking forward to “kicking Tiger’s ass”. He wins that two-ball by seven or eight.
Tom Irwin: It’s not like they give a toss about the event, so might as well be part of the show.