Tiger Woods’s attempted comeback still falls short
After two years filled with scandal and being out with injury or turning in mediocre games, the world’s biggest golf star finishes the Open, his first tournament over the last two months, in the middle of the pack.
For instance, from a difficult spot with a tricky angle, he hit a high and looped the ball, having it land about 50 feet from the cup.
This would have been a great shot for the average player, but for Woods, the shot caused a pained look to cross his face. Fans were just as disappointed, with one daring to call out, “Not like it used to be.”
This is indicative of the strong pressure of expectation on this golf icon, who had hoped to rebound from the two years of poor performance at a tournament that was out of the way in Northern California.
Interviews with Woods indicate that he believed nothing short of dominating the world again would make for a satisfactory comeback. This included winning tournaments as well as fixing up a dirtied image, which would allow him to regain his status of being a celebrity endorser commanding around $110 million per year—at least before corporations started to let him go on the big haul.
Although the Open performance was encouraging in many angles, it showed that Woods’s hopes of comeback would not be a walk in the park.
The field was largely diluted, especially since it was played at a time of the year when majority of the world’s top golfers were resting at home. Still, Woods finished a bit too far behind, which added fuel to talks that he might have been well past his good days.
He responded curtly that it was not the first time people speculated that about him.
Overall, the tournament was full of inconsistencies for the 35-year-old. At some points, he would successfully sink a long putt, resulting in his arms pumping the air. At others, he would be smashing his club to the ground following a tee shot that was sent into high grass.
The former world Number 1 explained how he had been feeling healthy for the first time in a while, and how he was getting comfortable with the swing over a few holes each time. But he said that he just got into these “lulls,” or what he felt were like old, bad habits.
Of course, the tournament was not all that has been going on in Woods’s comeback. Last week, he signed a contract for endorsing Rolex, and sources mention a possible deal under process with retail electronics chain Fry’s, indicating a major improvement from the last couple of years.
Over 2009 and 2010, sponsors in the corporate world left him in the dust in the midst of many tabloid accounts of infidelity, visits to a sex addition clinic, and even the divorce.
His agent Mark Steinberg confirms that business is going well this time around, with their being near the closing of a deal for a Tiger Woods golf bag.