Yes, it's just a photo. And no, he's not actually playing golf. But isn't it great to see the man himself back in the public eye? Alex Perry wraps up the week's talking points in The Slam
Hello, and welcome to this week’s edition of The Slam. Before we get to the Tiger Woods sighting you’ve all come in for, I just wanted to share a lovely email I had fall in my inbox this week about young golf fanatic George Hughes. George sadly lost his dad at 18 months and, now aged five, is going to attempt to hit 300 balls in just two hours at Trafford Golf Centre as part of a charity challenge to raise money for the wonderful Freeman Heart & Lung Transplant Association. If you are able to spare anything at all, you can donate on George’s JustGiving page. Thank you.
The lesser-spotted Tiger
It was great to see Woods was back in action over the weekend – and even nicer to see his dad Tiger making a public appearance…
(I had you there for a split second, didn’t I?)
Tiger was pictured watching 12-year-old son Charlie at a junior event in Florida.
You might remember Charlie from 2020. He went viral in January of that year when a video of his golf swing started doing the rounds on social media, then a few months later he proved he was a chip off the old block by destroying the rest of the field in an under-11s tournament, before ending the year playing alongside his old man in the PGA Tour’s father-son event.
But back to his dad and thankfully he’s wearing golf attire – we really don’t need a repeat of that time he attempted to wear jeans – and a sleeve on his right leg, which was broken in multiple places in a car accident in Los Angeles in February.
While there is still nothing official on a potential return to the golf course for the 45-year-old, this photo are the first of him in public without his crutches since his surgery.
It’s literally just Woods standing and watching his son hit golf balls, and yet it’s somehow the most exciting photo of the 15-time major champ since, well, he became a 15-time major champ.
You can’t even see his face, and yet this single photo has somehow set the sport alight.
He’s even got that classic Tiger lean-on-the-club pose going on. What’s not to love?
And yes, we’re all clinging onto something that may never happen, but we could all do with something to look forward to. So I’ll be making no apologies for being absolutely buzzing to see him back with a golf club in his hand – and neither should you.
Just one final note. Tiger is one of, if not the most famous Nike athlete on the planet. His son is wearing Puma. Which is interesting, if you’re as geeky about these things as I am…
V for Very predictable
The Match V is happening.
It’s Bryson DeChambeau vs Brooks Koepka – who saw that coming? – in a 12-hole shootout in Las Vegas on November 26.
The general reaction on social media when the news was announced? No one really cares. And I don’t think I do either, if I’m honest. I don’t know about you but after the six-major season, the Olympics, the FedEx Cup play-offs, the incredible Solheim Cup and the rather forgettable Ryder Cup, I’m feeling a bit golfed out on the tour front.
There’s a scope for these off-season charity events, but the powers that be aren’t quite getting it right. I mean, give us a mixed event for starters.
The Match series is fine. But Shell’s Wonderful World of Golf it ain’t.
Looks who’s back
In the summer of 2017, Rafa Cabrera Bello won the Scottish Open – his third European Tour title – before finishing in a tie for fourth at The Open – comfortably his best performance in a major – to move to a career-high 16th in the world rankings.
He has since lost his PGA Tour card, finishing 170th in last season’s FedEx standings, and plummeted to World No 231.
But sometimes all you need is a bit of home comforts, and that’s exactly what RCB got as he held off fellow Spaniard Adri Arnaus to lift the Open de Espana on a thrilling final day in Madrid.
And just look what it meant to him to have his name engraved alongside the other Spanish greats to have lifted their home Open…
There goes my hero
While Jon Rahm may have only managed to just slip inside the top 20 in a tournament he’s won the past two years, it didn’t stop him doing his bit for the fans…
The very best player in our sport, ladies and gentlemen.
One of my favourite moments of the last year was interviewing Jin Young Ko. She’s so remarkably grounded for someone who has achieved what she has.
And this weekend she not only won her third title in her last six starts, her 10th LPGA title, and 21st overall, but she also matched Annika Sorenstam’s record for most consecutive rounds in the 60s.
The two-time major champion is only 26, remember. Incredible.
What happens in Vegas
Sungjae Im won on his 50th PGA Tour start. He’s now won on his 100th. The Korean is the Shriners Open champion after a stunning final day in Sin City.
Be sure to back him on his 150th…
Phil gonna Phil
Four Champions Tour starts. Three wins. And all in the same year as he won the PGA Championship. Phil Mickelson is not human.
Heading to the club this week? Don’t forget to pick up a copy of the October issue of National Club Golfer magazine, in which our equipment guru Hannah Holden brings you her favourite winter clothing from golf’s biggest brands, Steve Carroll chats to Paul Lawrie about how etiquette needs to change at clubs, and my interview with the incredible Jigger Thomson.
If you don’t manage to find a copy, we’ve got a handy digital version you can read.
Right, that’s enough from me. Remember you can follow me on Twitter if that’s your thing. Have a fantastic week. Same again next Sunday?