Why Tiger Woods’ dazzling play was the biggest story in a Match full of intrigue

Why Tiger Woods’ dazzling play was the biggest story in a Match full of intrigue

The Match II was glorious anarchy, an exquisite practice wreck that supplied the senseless leisure a cautious nation desperately wants. However amid all of the televised yukking and wilding-out on Twitter there was one very momentous improvement: Tiger Woods is again, child.

When skilled golf came to a grinding halt in mid-March because of the coronavirus, Woods was battling each his swing and his physique. With the Masters bearing down on him Tiger was serially avoiding match golf, attempting to purchase time. The halting of the season couldn’t have come at a greater second for a 44-year-old warrior with a fused backbone. The Match, then, was the primary glimpse of Woods in 98 days and halfway by means of the entrance 9 Phil Mickelson blurted out the decision: “He’s striping it.”

Tiger’s swing was rhythmic and sleek, the telltale transition on the prime as languid as a damp afternoon in South Florida. Over the primary eight holes — by which era Woods had staked himself and his accomplice Peyton Manning to a 3-up lead — the one shot Tiger missed was when he needed to putt along with his 4-iron, a part of a gimmicky one-club problem.

On the 9th gap, an extended, robust par-Four into the fan, Woods’s long-iron method was monitoring towards the opening when he shouted out a classic plea: “Yet one more yard!” He didn’t get it — the ball expired in a bunker from which Woods saved par with a stunning restoration shot — however that degree of specificity was an indication of how locked-in Tiger felt. Sure, this was a hit-and-giggle exhibition (for an amazing trigger!) on his house course, however Woods’s play was a far cry from after we final noticed him on Tour, wincing by means of closing rounds of 73-76-77 on the L.A. Open.

By the 17th gap, on-course commentator Justin Thomas was moved to say, with a contact of wonderment, “He’s a fairway-hitting machine!”

Watching Tiger pluck his tee from the turf earlier than his drive had even reached its apex after which form iron photographs into the well-fortified greens was a vivid reminder of what has been taken from us. However his high-quality play all of the sudden makes the remainder of the PGA Tour schedule that rather more intriguing. It stays to be seen how a lot Tiger will wish to endure the hassles of the brand new Covid protocols to play in on a regular basis Tour occasions however one factor is now clear: barring a setback along with his again, Woods has restored himself as one of many favorites when the large occasions start with the PGA Championship, now scheduled for early August.

In rating the winners of this Match, the listing must embrace Phil Mickelson’s wedge play and basic showmanship, Tom Brady’s good cheer and unlikely hole-out that melted the Internet, Manning’s low-key appeal and dependable draw and, in fact, the 4 nationwide charities that may cut up the $20 million generated by this zaniness.

However by far the most important winners had been golf followers who on Sunday acquired to take pleasure in 5 hours of levity and, extra vital, a peek at classic Tiger. Seeing Woods in full flight made sheltering-in-place barely much less onerous for one blissful afternoon-turned-evening and offers all of us that almost all valuable of commodities: hope for the long run.

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