From chipping to the stinger in 8 weeks – can Tiger compete again?
Alex Perry: Tiger Woods has gone from tweeting on August 31 that his doctor gave him the OK to start pitching to hitting the stinger on October 23. In between he posted videos of “smooth iron shots” and “making progress” with the driver. The rate he’s going, if the Masters was next week he would win it.
Craig Middleton: I actually can see him competing. He’s Tiger Woods. Yes he’s had a few injuries – I realise that’s an understatement – but he is a genius, he’ll figure something out. He might not win, but he will compete.
Joe Urquhart: He can’t help himself. Give it two months and he’ll have pushed himself too far again. Back to square one. He was told he could start chipping a few weeks ago now he’s hitting stingers…
Craig Middleton: How can you be sure he was only told a few weeks ago? He may have been told months ago but just kept it to himself. Unless you’re good friends with his doctor?
Joe Urquhart: His arrest was only five months ago…
James Savage: He’s toast. I’d be surprised if he makes a cut ever again. There’s a different pressure when it’s a proper tournament and that will put his back under the sort of strain which he can’t practice
Joe Urquhart: I’d like to see him become an ambassador for the sport. Accept it’s over and play the game in a way he can still enjoy without putting too much stress on his back. It’s great to see him around Presidents and Ryder Cup teams and looking like he’s enjoying being there in that role.
Craig Middleton: I think he’ll win another three majors.
Joe Urquhart: I think you’re deluded.
Alex Perry: I very much want to have that optimism, Craig. I just don’t see him getting back to a position where he will strike fear into other players. If he can plot his way around a course without having to bomb it then he’ll do OK, but doing OK doesn’t win you tournaments.
Mark Townsend: He won’t win another tournament. Following the recent trend of looping for your best mate he’ll go on Mark O’Meara’s bag to try and get his Champions Tour career going.
James Savage: I find the excitement levels on social media quite worrying. Many people haven’t moved on.
Alex Perry: I really like the idea that Tiger is just sitting at home with his mates round saying “Watch these idiots go doolally.”
Tom Irwin: I think there is a bit of that, but I also don’t think he has any mates.
James Savage: Maybe Tiger’s lingering presence is having a negative effect as golf fans can’t find their next superstar while he’s still around?
Alex Perry: I’ve found Justin Thomas.
Dan Murphy: Here’s one for you. Why is the man who hated attention so much that he named his yacht ‘Privacy’ now teasing sports fans on social media by posting videos of him working on his game?
James Savage: To stay relevant for his sponsors?
Alex Perry: He didn’t need to stay relevant back when he was competing.
Tom Irwin: It is still a bit weird. Maybe he needs to feel relevant. By far and away the most disappointing thing about all the unravelling of Tiger in the last decade has been the removal of his aura of other worldliness.
James Savage: I’d be much more interested in seeing his medal card than his stinger. Is he on How Did I Do?
James Broadhurst: I don’t believe Tiger will ever compete at another major. I’m so confident that if he finishes inside the top 10 at another major I will wear a Manchester United jersey for a week.
James Savage: Doubt any of the United fans in the office own one for you to borrow.
Alex Perry: Because they’re all adults who shouldn’t own a football shirt?
James Savage: Because they’re from Grimsby, Daventry and Devon.