Dec
4
2011
“W” Returns to Tiger’s Alphabet!
By Stephanie Wei under Tiger Woods

The Tiger fist-pump is back!

By now, I’m sure you’ve all heard at least five times that trailing by one shot with two to play, Tiger Woods rolled in birdie putts from 15 and 6 feet to beat Zach Johnson — who missed his 12 footer that would have forced a playoff — by one and notched his first victory in more than two years.

I was in between interviews with guys at Q-school finals after the fifth of six rounds when my phone exploded with texts, e-mails, tweets, Facebook updates, etc. (you know, the works) with the big news (or a big interruption). All’s right in the world! Now, this begs the inevitable question: Is he back? Well, Tiger put it best with the help of LL Cool J…

“One of my buddies texted me this morning,” said an elated Tiger at his post-win presser at Sherwood Country Club. “And he was saying just an old L.L. Cool J lyric: ‘Can’t call it a comeback; been here for years.’  So that was his thing to me. I can’t wait to text him back.”

Rockin my peers and puttin suckas in fear
Makin the tears rain down like a MON-soon
Listen to the bass go BOOM

Yippee!!!

There’s obviously been some overreaction in response to Tiger’s win. I mean, yes, it was important for him to simply get a “W” — the first in the post-hydrant era. However, it wasn’t an official win (though it came with lots of world ranking points, Tiger moved from No. 52 to No. 21 in the world). It was 18 guys slapping the ball around in an exhibition. Wake me when he captures that 15th major.

What is significant is Tiger making two must-make putts under the gun in a stroke play event (that is, if you can call it an “event”). I don’t think we’ve seen him in such good form since his world fell apart two years ago. He drained some big putts on the front nine in the final round of the Masters, but then missed a few important short ones on the back. So that didn’t count.

Woot!

“As far as being pleased, I’m pleased with the way that I’m able to fix my swing out there,” said Tiger. “I know what I need to do to do it right.
Couple times out there I hit a couple loose shots, and that’s because of where my backswing wasn’t where I need to have it ‑ and I know it.

“But under the gun I kind of got back into an old pattern, so obviously I need more reps and create a new pattern.  When the pressure was on the most the last two holes, I hit three of the best shots I hit all week.  That’s very exciting for me.”

How should the expectations for Tiger be different going into 2012 compared to 2011?

“Last year (2010) I was very one dimensional how I played,” he said. “I played only right to left.  I did not have the swing of position where I could get a left‑to‑right ball at all.  I somehow putted well (at the Chevron last year) and got myself into a spot where I had a chance to win a golf tournament, but it was very one dimensional all week.”

What’s more, Tiger had champagne delivered to the media center. Who is this guy?! Then Tiger’s first tweet after winning:

HE CURSED ON TWITTER! OMG! Who is this imposter?! Here’s his second tweet:

The link directs you to this classic:

Can’t decide what’s the better news? The Tiger Woods who is letting his guard down a bit or that we probably won’t have to worry about suffering from whiplash as often next season.

Oh yeah, one last thing. I posed this question on Twitter, but I’ll ask it again: What’s the bigger story — Tebow or Tiger? NFL game or 18-person golf exhibition?

(AP Photo/Danny Moloshok, Mark J. Terrill)