It's been about a month since the World has last heard from Tiger Woods, who was just a few missed putts away from claiming his 5th green jacket at Augusta National. Now after his injured knee and Achilles have kept him away from the golf course for weeks on end, can he get it all together in time to compete in this years Players Championship?
History says no. Aside from his win there in 2001 Tiger has never finished higher than eighth in the tournament, and actually withdrew last year after he hurt his neck during the final round. He's in tinker mode right now, checking and double checking every nook and cranny of his golf swing in hopes of figuring it out in time for the U.S. Open next month. Tiger knows the importance of the PGA Tour's unofficial "fifth major," that's why he's playing even though I doubt he is back to 100%. But some other high profile golfers don't exactly see it that way.
Current number one in the world Lee Westwood and Northern Irishman Rory McIlroy both decided to skip the Players this week, with Westwood taking his son to the Manchester City v Stoke City FA Cup final in England and will play in South Korea instead. McIlroy on the other hand simply doesn't like the layout of the course and feels he won't do well there. To each their own, and I'd have to say that this tourney probably means more to Americans than Europeans, but it's called the "fifth major" for a reason, and makes people scratch their heads when golfers choose not to play it.
Predictions? I don't even want to go there. This has been such a crazy season on the PGA Tour so far that it literally is anybody's week to win. It will all come down to the 16th, 17th, and 18th on Sunday, where danger and opportunity mesh to create one of the most exciting finishes in all of golf.
Can't wait for this thing to start tomorrow. Should be a great weekend of golf.