Guess who unexpectedly dropped by Atlantic Athletic Club, site of next week’s PGA Championship, on Monday? — Tiger Woods, who is returning to competition at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational after nearly a three-month layoff due to injuries, according to Scott Michaux of the Augusta Chronicle.
PGA.com posted a picture of Tiger on its Facebook page, with the caption, “Look who’s practicing. A surprise guest today out at Atlanta Athletic Club as players are getting ready for next week’s PGA Championship!”
Apparently, on his way to Firestone in Akron, Ohio, Tiger popped by AAC in John’s Creek, Georgia, to preview the venue for the fourth and final major of the year. Since he’s missed two — the US Open and the British Open — already, he’ll certainly want to make the most of “glory’s last shot.”
Since limping off the course after shooting seven-over 43 for nine holes in the first round of The Players in May, Tiger has been sidelined due to injuries endured during the third round of the Masters. He admitted to trying to come back too soon and pledging to take his time to fully recover. Whether or not he’s 100% remains to be seen — and well, only Tiger knows how he’s feeling.
The last tournament Tiger completed was the Masters in April, where he staged a strong Sunday charge on the front nine, but fizzled on the back, missing several costly short putts. Still, despite playing injured, he finished T4 at Augusta.
At the WGC at Firestone this week, Woods is guaranteed to play four competitive rounds since there is no cut. After nearly a three-month layoff, he’ll certainly need as many reps as possible to prepare for the PGA.
When the PGA was held at AAC in 2001, Tiger finished T29th.
Despite dropping to No. 28 in the world rankings and closing in on a two-year winless streak, oddsmakers have set Woods at 15-1 to win the PGA. I used to say I’d never bet real money against Tiger, but until he wins again or shows more consistency, I wouldn’t put down hard cash in favor of him.
(Photo via PGA.com)