KAPALUA, Hawaii – New PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan has no problem admitting it – he thinks Tiger Woods can still win.
“Just so we’re clear, when he’s 75 years old I’m going to still think he can win on the Tour,” Monahan said Saturday at the SBS Tournament of Champions.
That comment came unprovoked after Monahan was asked if he’s excited that Woods is ramping up his schedule early this year by playing four events in a five-week stretch.
Woods announced earlier this week that he’ll begin the year at the Farmers Insurance Open and will travel to the Omega Dubai Desert Classic the following week. After a week off he will play the Genesis Open and Honda Classic in consecutive weeks.
“It’ll bring even more attention to events that are very strong,” Monahan said. “Given the amount of time that Tiger’s been out of the game there’s a great amount of interest and anticipation for how he’s going to perform, particularly after making 24 birdies.”
The 24 birdies came at the Hero World Challenge early last month in Woods’ first tournament in nearly 16 months. The birdies were promising, but six double bogeys kept him from playing much better. Still, Woods shot 73-65-70-76 and finished 15th in an 18-man field, 14 shots behind Hideki Matsuyama.
“I don’t think it’s just the performance he had at the Hero World Challenge,” Monahan said. “I think the way his energy, his countenances ... the joy that he had that week lends itself for all of us.
“It’s very exciting to think about what he could potentially accomplish in the coming weeks.”