PARAMUS, N.J. – He seems relaxed and relieved, if not fully rehabilitated, for it would be a bit premature to declare Tiger Woods’ golf game as “cured” now that his divorce has been finalized. On a golf course that demands accuracy off the tee, Woods must come up with a decent showing just to stay alive in the FedEx Cup playoffs. The heavy rainfall at Ridgefield CC over the last few days translates to a considerable advantage for Tiger, who still hits it a long way, even if it’s the wrong way.
The soft fairways won’t hurt him, either, if he can hit them, but with Eldrick Almighty these days, it’s all about the head. I had a telling conversation Tuesday with a veteran player who spoke with Woods for a while at the PGA Championship. In a nutshell, Tiger told his fellow tour pro that if he knew it would be this hard to play well and balance all that is going on in his personal life, he might have done things differently.
Even Woods can’t just flip a switch and shoot 65. For the first time in his remarkable career, Tiger goes off in the first group Thursday, and conditions should be receptive. It’s a big round of golf for him and all eyes will be on him – even if he’ll finish long before the Golf Channel’s tournament telecast.