Tiger trying harder to please


Tiger Woods’ return to competitive golf this week comes as a mild surprise to this front-row observer, who figured the post-Masters reports on the demise of his marriage would leave us Tigerless well into May, perhaps beyond. If his personal issues are of little concern to many of us, when and where Woods plays is a big deal. Of lesser importance, though still significant, is the timing of his commitments to those tournaments.

Earlier this month, Tiger announced his upcoming schedule in advance for the first time since he turned pro: Quail Hollow and The Players, plus the AT&T National, which moves to Philadelphia this year as Congressional prepares to host the 2011 U.S. Open. Of course, Woods was the AT&T’s official host before his off-course problems changed a majority of his corporate relationships, but the fact that he has already committed to an event in July has to mean something.

Maybe he is trying to change his ways. The PGA Tour asked Tiger to enter tournaments earlier, and this time, he obliged, and for good reason. Maybe he felt all the negative reverberations from his behavior on the weekend at Augusta National and realized he has to try harder. A lot harder.