Almost as quickly as he left, Tiger Woods is back. At one point not too long ago, we weren’t even sure if Woods would be capable of returning to the PGA Tour this season, and with one quick posting to his Facebook page, all of that doubt disappeared.
The date is set, and Woods will return to competition next week at the Quicken Loans National at Congressional Country Club. This is really a best-case scenario for Woods, who certainly will use this outing as a tune-up in his preparation for next month’s Open Championship.
If it all seems a bit convenient for you, then you’re probably onto something. This tournament, previously known as the AT&T National, has been hosted by Woods since its inception in 2007, and is just one of the many tournaments run by his Tiger Woods Foundation. That’s not to say this is a bad thing; quite the opposite, really. Woods brings a level of attention, and in turn, dollars, to any event he plays. If Woods can help grow his foundation’s outreach by playing, then that’s absolutely what he should be doing.
That’s not even getting to the on-course possibilities in play here. Woods has an obvious comfort level at Congressional, where he’s won twice in the last seven years. It’s going to provide the type of test he needs to be ready for Royal Liverpool, with a strong but smaller field than usual, as the tournament has invitational status.
Even if Woods hadn’t missed a beat, he wasn’t likely to play the John Deere Classic the week before the Open, and he missed the cut at the Greenbrier Classic in his last trip in 2012. That same year, Woods won at Congressional before finishing tied for third across the pond.
If anything isn’t right with Woods next week, we’ll see it firsthand, and he’ll also have the maximum amount of time to rest up before chasing major No. 15 once again. In the end, this is a perfect call from a veteran who knows that what he does in the next few months could define the rest of his career path.