Tiger Looking Good

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2008 U.S. OpenSAN DIEGO -- Teeing off at seven a.m. local time with Bubba Watson and Stanfords Jordan Cox, Tiger played just nine holes Tuesday morning after going 11 on Monday. Afterwards he sat for the State of the Knee Address, and the questions were always longer than the answers.
 
Have you walked 18 holes since Sunday at Augusta?
 
No.
 
If this hadnt been a major this week, would you have played?
 
Yeah.
 
Do you feel like your knee is fully recovered or are you finding youre still holding back when you play?
 
Is it fully recovered? Probably not.
 
During any of these practice rounds has there been a shot or anything that you felt a twinge or anything that would give you concern or something you didnt like the way that your knee felt?
 
Its a little sore, but not anything I havent felt before.
 
Heres what I saw and heard. If you didnt know hed had surgery, youd swear he just won Memorial by seven shots. He looked that good.
 
Flawless, said Jordan Cox, the Stanford golfer who played alongside Woods the last two days.
 
Awesome, said swing coach Hank Haney.
 
Haney told me Tiger hasnt had to change his swing in any way to compensate, and that hes played well before when he hasnt been 100 percent.
 
Remember, too, that Tigers coming off one of the best stretches of his career.
 
Told there are some who believe theres no way he can return without a competitive round and win this week, Tiger said, Ive heard that before.
 
Hell likely just practice on Wednesday and that has nothing to do with his knee. This is the routine hes used since winning the British Open at Hoylake in 2006. He plays Sunday, Monday and Tuesday and then practices Wednesday.
 
After what I saw, I see no reason to remove Tiger as the favorite. Hes not the prohibitive favorite he may have been had he not had surgery, but hes still the favorite.
 
As for the golf course, players seem to love the set up. One veteran observer told me it might actually be the easiest U.S. Open course hes seen in 30 years. But a lot could change if the greens firm up with the expected sunshine later in the week.
 
On another note, last night Tim Rosaforte reported on the story of mini-tour qualifier Bobby Collins. I caught up with Collins today and his interview will air tonight on Live From beginning at 7 ET. Collins was playing a pro-am in March at fabled Seminole in South Florida with the owner of the NFLs Houston Texans Bob McNair. On a windy day, Collins played lights out on the first nine. He approached McNair on the first fairway, his 10th hole of the day, and asked him a question that may well have rescued his career.
 
Tune in tonight.
 
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