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Sympatico: Woods rebound comes at the right time

I’m off to Laval near Montreal today to see the work Ian Andrew and Mike Weir have come up with for a course hotly tipped to hold the Canadian Open down the road. In the meantime, for your reading pleasure, here’s this week’s Sympatico column:

There was a time when a third-place showing by Tiger Woods was considered a failure. And it wasn’t that long ago that it was inconceivable Woods would be ranked 50th in the world, let alone moving up to that number with a strong show at the Australian Open over the weekend.

“I felt great, it’s nice to be finally healthy again, it’s been such a long time,” Woods explained after shooting 5-under 67 on Sunday to vault into contention. It wasn’t enough – Australian Greg Chalmers held it together to win the tournament – but Woods’ play raises the question of whether this is finally the return to the form he last had two years ago. That was the timing of his last win, and before the fabled SUV accident and the ensuing maelstrom that engulfed his life after details of his extra-marital trysts became public. Since then he’s been hurt both physically and mentally, unable to recapture the magic that once made him the most dominant athlete in sports.

“I had a chance,” Woods told reporters of his Sunday run. “I kept telling myself I needed to post 13 or 14 (under) to get up there. Unfortunately I didn’t post the number I wanted.”

The number really isn’t significant. Instead, for at least three rounds Woods appeared to the world like the player that captured 14 majors. After his round, Woods said he felt there was the possibility he could shoot 30 on the final nine and take the tournament. That’s significant because it demonstrates Woods’ confidence level is finally rebounding. The red shirt on Sunday meant something in a way it hasn’t in a long time.
There was a time when a third-place showing by Tiger Woods was considered a failure. And it wasn’t that long ago that it was inconceivable Woods would be ranked 50th in the world, let alone moving up to that number with a strong show at the Australian Open over the weekend.

“I felt great, it’s nice to be finally healthy again, it’s been such a long time,” Woods explained after shooting 5-under 67 on Sunday to vault into contention. It wasn’t enough – Australian Greg Chalmers held it together to win the tournament – but Woods’ play raises the question of whether this is finally the return to the form he last had two years ago. That was the timing of his last win, and before the fabled SUV accident and the ensuing maelstrom that engulfed his life after details of his extra-marital trysts became public. Since then he’s been hurt both physically and mentally, unable to recapture the magic that once made him the most dominant athlete in sports.

“I had a chance,” Woods told reporters of his Sunday run. “I kept telling myself I needed to post 13 or 14 (under) to get up there. Unfortunately I didn’t post the number I wanted.”

The number really isn’t significant. Instead, for at least three rounds Woods appeared to the world like the player that captured 14 majors. After his round, Woods said he felt there was the possibility he could shoot 30 on the final nine and take the tournament. That’s significant because it demonstrates Woods’ confidence level is finally rebounding. The red shirt on Sunday meant something in a way it hasn’t in a long time.

The remainder of the column is here.

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Robert Thompson

A bestselling author and award-winning columnist, Robert Thompson has been writing about business and sports, and particularly golf, for almost two decades. His reporting and commentary on golf has appeared in Golf Magazine, the Globe and Mail, T&L Golf and many other media outlets. Currently Robert is a columnist with Global Golf Post, golf analyst for Global News and Shaw Communications, and Senior Writer to ScoreGolf. The Going for the Green blog was launched in 2004.

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