With Tiger Woods’ return to the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am in February, it will mark the first time he’s played the event since 2002, and a likely new outlook on the season and career for the 36 year old former No. 1 in the world. Though still young, Tiger is running out of majors if he wants to catch Jack Nicklaus’ record of 18, and the time is now for Tiger’s renaissance.
Many felt that Tiger would choose the Farmer’s Insurance Open at Torrey Pines to start out his season, one of the few courses he has had more succes at than Pebble, but Tiger has already committed to the HSBC Champions in Abu Dhabi, the first official tournament Tiger will play in in 2012.
It isn’t shocking to see him start his season overseas, where his marketability hasn’t bottomed out as much as in the States. The field will also be much stronger than at Farmer’s, not to mention the more money to be made, even through a potential new sponsor (you never know who’ll sponsor Tiger next).
With 14 majors under his belt, Woods still has four more to go to catch the Golden Bear, and is running out of time to do so. Tiger has adjusted to his new swing, is feeling healthy again, and has some momentum after his victory at the Chevron Challenge in December. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him play in many events before the Masters, more so than he has in years at least. And I wouldn’t be surprised to see him win a few either.
It may be the year of the Dragon according to Chinese Astrology, but on the PGA Tour, 2012 may once more be the year of the Tiger.