Before the believers and the doubters (myself included) overreact to what went down at Valspar, let’s take an objective look at the infallible truths about Tiger’s comeback.
Truth #1: The smartest thing he did was fire Sean Foley. Tiger had gone from artist to scientist under Foley’s tutelage and it was just painfully awful watching Tiger twist himself into the proverbial swing pretzel Foley was trying to create. Tiger is now un-coached. See any of that at Honda or Valspar? Nope. Vision, feel, and imagination are back; watch out!
Truth #2: Tiger has changed his swing because of his spinal fusion repair and it’s working. There’s less rotational movement, less torque, a more upright finish, and it’s producing plenty of length. However, Tiger’s weak point is his surgically repaired legs. The foundation has crumbled before on several occasions. Is his lower body strong or a peanut brittle bar ready to snap at any moment?
Truth #3: Tiger is smart, knows how to compete, and wants to win so badly he’ll do anything it takes, including abandoning equipment that he was previously wedded to. Also see Truth #1.
Truth #4: Tiger’s comeback has been brilliant but I still need to see him compete on a course that demands you hit driver consistently. Genesis at Riviera requires superior driving and he struck it poorly. He played brilliantly off the tee at Valspar, frequently controlling distance, direction, and trajectory with long iron stingers, but the way you conquer Augusta is to bomb it on the 4s and 5s and get wedges in from the fairways. Can he win The Masters without consistent performance from the big dog?
I wouldn’t be surprised if he won at Bay Hill this week but The Masters is the 800 pound gorilla in the corner of the room. You, I, and everyone else are thinking the same thing. Can he do it? Well, can he? Thoughts?