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Is Tiger’s Comeback Real?

His personal foul-ups and physical ailments slowed the recovery of his golf game, but his Bay Hill win shows he is regaining his touch

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It should be noted that at the time Woods accused Haney of money grubbing, he was about to play in Abu Dhabi where his appearance fee was said to be $1,500,000, and previous sortees to the Dubai World Championship had come with hefty guarantees said to be as much as $3,000,000, which is what he got as an appearance fee for his last victory at the Australian Masters.
We get to see Woods, the professional, in broad daylight. We get to see Woods the person in snippets. It’s easier to assess the differences in Tiger 1.0 and Tiger 2.0 as a player because results are definitive. But we rely on only hints and tidbits about his personal life. Sort of like this.
At Pebble Beach he was asked if he was feeling his age. “Yeah, there’s no doubt. It is what it is,” said Woods. “I don’t recover quite as well. I know that I’m sore quite often, just every day when I’m playing with my kids. They’re not very tall yet, and bending down there and playing with them and building things and doing all those things, that’s pretty low to the ground, so I do get sore. Something I don’t remember every being like that.”
He also brought up his kids when asked if golf was more fun again after two years of personal turmoil. “I think it’s more fun now than it used to be because now my kids are becoming an age where they want to see Daddy on TV,” says Woods.
“Daddy, you’re going to a golf tournament, are you going to be on TV? And I say, Well I have to play well. ‘Well, Daddy, can you please play well?’ ”
“That to me, I get more satisfaction out of that part of my life now, so golf is more enjoyable than it used to be, for sure.”
But now, in the age of Tiger 2.0 at 36 and counting, can Woods possibly tell us if the time has come when he could foresee a career downturn, when he no longer could be the most feared competitor of his time?
“I’m not going there,” he says. “I’m not touching that one.”

Jeff Williams is a contributing editor for
Cigar Aficionado.
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