Sports Outside the Beltway

Will Tiger Woods be rusty when he returns to the PGA Tour?

Tiger had knee surgery last week. Jason Sobel at ESPN writes-

If Woods is indeed Superman, his kryptonite may be that left knee, which has now required three separate surgeries. He previously had a benign tumor removed in 1994, and in late 2002, he underwent a similar procedure to his most recent surgery, proving he may not be invincible, but he is indestructible. After his second surgery, he returned neither gimpy nor rusty, winning in his first start at Torrey Pines and taking two of the next three titles as well.

Expect a similar result when Woods returns after this layoff, possibly at the Memorial Tournament in late May, certainly by the U.S. Open in June. That’s because he’s not only the most talented golfer around, but he works as hard as anyone else.

Tiger isn’t Superman, he’s human like the rest of us mortals. In 2006 Tiger took nine weeks off after the Masters. In that period of time, Tiger’s father died. What did Tiger do in his first tournament back after the layoff? Miss the cut at the US Open. Talking about the Open a few weeks later, Tiger said.

‘I was rusty,’ Woods told reporters on Wednesday after holing a chip shot at the 18th hole to finish his Pro-Am round at Cog Hill before Thursday’s start of the Western Open.

‘It was very disappointing. I had good practice sessions and I thought I was prepared.’

Now I’m not saying TIger would miss the cut in his first tournament back after his surgery, but I’d be willing to make a small wager he doesn’t win in his first outing. That is a really fearless golf prediction, what do you think?

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