2017 Awards: Landmark Moment #2

As 2017 draws to a close it’s time to reflect on some of the highlights, low-lights and other fascinating events so far this year. 

We’ll be nominating Bouquets, Brickbats and Landmark Moments over the Christmas period including the return to tournament golf for the first time in 10 months by one of the greatest in the game’s history, Tiger Woods.

Woods made a successful comeback earlier this month in the Bahamas.

Following his withdrawal from the Dubai Desert Classic in early February, Woods underwent a fourth surgery on his back prompting many to give up any hope of a successful return.

But when an energised 41-year-old Woods teed it up in his own event, the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas in early December, he appeared free from any restriction in his back and full of power, filling the collective golf world with newfound optimism about his golfing future.

Perhaps more than any other similar comeback and because of his legendary standing in the game, Woods' performance at the Albany layout in New Providence was under the greatest of scrutiny despite some suggesting he had chosen a glorified exhibition event in which to return.

But with nine of the world’s top 10 included in the 18-man line-up and the pride in performance each of those players possess, there was no reason to believe this would be a hit and giggle affair.

Three of Woods’ four rounds were in the 60s, one of only four players in the field to do so and although a 3rd round of 75 prevented a possible fairy-tale return, his capacity to compete at close to the highest level stunned and delighted the golf world.

Woods eventually finished 9th, 10 shots behind the winner, Rickie Fowler, but the result was almost immaterial as he again proved dismissing champions too readily is fraught with danger.

Woods fired rounds of 69, 68, 75 and 68 to finish the week at 8 under.

“I knew I was going to be able to play all four rounds, that wasn’t going to be an issue,” Woods told the television commentary team after his final round.

“The issue was going to be how was my scoring going to be, how was my feel, how am I going to get used to the adrenaline in my system for the first time in a while.

“I was still scratchy with my irons, I drove it pretty good all week, made some good putts but overall I’m very pleased.

“I showed some good signs, I hit some really good shots out there and I’m ready for a bright future.”

It was music to the ears of those who see Woods as responsible for the dramatic growth of the professional game over the last 20 years.

Having the 14-time major winner back as a potential contender for titles and major championships in 2018 is the sort of shot in the arm the game needs.

The likes of Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth, Jason Day and others have done a great job in providing plenty of storylines and some great golf in the absence of Woods but as the saying goes, ‘there is no show without punch’ and if he is able to build on the base he established in the Bahamas then Woods can once again be a factor.

Woods' return to tournament golf in 2018, whenever that may be, will again have the golfing world licking its lips.

It is because of that reason that Woods' effort at the Hero World Challenge deserves to be considered one of the Landmark Moments of 2017.








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