The Reuters global sports blog
The photos depict it, Rory McIlroy’s been saying it, now it’s up to the Abu Dhabi Golf Club to confirm that at long last, Tiger Woods is happy and fighting fit again.
That the 14-times major champion should choose the European Tour’s first big event of the season to make his 2012 debut in favour of one of his favourite courses at Torrey Pines in California is one thing.
Woods’ results at Torrey Pines have been astonishing – seven wins including his last major at the U.S. Open in 2008 – while his rare forays to the Middle East have been equally impressive, two Dubai Desert Classic wins in six attempts with only one finish outside the top five.
More noticeable however is the American’s demeanour, critics say his huge appearance fee in the UAE capital might have something to do with it, but surely money no longer lures Woods. He wants to start winning again.
The Spaniard’s flare and touch were what stood him apart, and here follows reaction from his friends and rivals. There will never be anyone quite like him again.
This week’s Memorial tournament, an elite PGA Tour event in its own right hosted by golfing great Jack Nicklaus, is sure to offer several pointers toward the likely contenders at this month’s U.S. Open.
Many of the game’s leading players are making their final appearances on the circuit before switching focus to the second major of the year, which takes place at majestic Pebble Beach from June 17-20.
Friday’s announcement in Copenhagen that golf would be added to the Olympic schedule from the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro sparked joyous reaction from players past and present, along with a few dissenting voices.
World number one Tiger Woods declared it “a perfect fit” while fellow great Jack Nicklaus voiced his pride over golf’s united front on “a great day” for the sport.