Tiger Woods hosts junior golf event at the Hay course at Pebble Beach

Tiger Woods hosts junior golf event at the Hay course at Pebble Beach

Seeing video of Tiger Woods hitting wedges at the Peter Hay Course at Pebble Beach, where he hosted a junior event this week, has the golf world swooning again.

More video emerged Monday at Spyglass, and no less than Brandel Chamblee tweeted breathlessly:

“Tremendous width/shoulder turn in the backswing, legendary separation/squat in transition and left leg extension through impact. Doesn’t look like a 46-year-old who had a life-threatening injury just a short time ago.”

Tiger never gives us much to go on, but I’ve seen enough that I’m convinced he’s going to be ready for his favorite Silly Season events: the Hero World Challenge at Albany Club in Nassau, Bahamas and the PNC Championship at Ritz- Carlton Golf Club in Orlando.

The first benefits Tiger’s foundation and while 17 players in the field of 20 were announced last week, there’s still room for a sponsor invite to be named later, even for a golfer who recently slipped to No. 1195 in the Official World Golf Ranking. He’s used this event as a trial balloon to test his body in a limited field, no-cut event before and it would surprise me if he didn’t play there (unless he suffers a setback).

Speaking last week at Furyk & Friends in Jacksonville, Notah Begay III echoed that sentiment and hinted at a rule change that could ease the way for Woods to play.

“We may see a late-minute introduction of a cart rule, that would be great.” Begay said. “It will just be another chance for us to see how far he’s come.”

The PNC allows carts and Tiger took advantage of it in previous editions. It feels like that event, which pairs a major winner (or Players champ) with a family member, has become Tiger’s favorite week of the year, teeing it up in the two-man scramble with son Charlie. They finished second last year and with Tiger having made progress enough to play in three of the four majors this year and Charlie improving to the point he’s breaking 70 in junior tournaments, this could be the year they claim the champion belts.

Here’s more of Begay on Tiger:

“I know that if you just look at the metrics that are related to his golf swing in terms of clubhead speed, ball speed, his ability to execute golf shots, it’s still all there. Now, walking 72 holes in a competitive environment, that’s the big question mark. But if he finds a way, and if anybody will, it will be him, to be able to deal with the 72-hole walk, the golf’s not the question to me, the heart’s not the question, it’s just a matter of physically can he endures that much stress on the leg.

“I think it’s an uphill battle, but he’s never backed down from any challenges.”

Just weeks earlier, Begay in an interview with Golfweek suggested that Woods could still break the deadlock with Sam Snead and become the career leader in PGA Tour victories with 83.

When asked how long a Tiger range session lasted, he said “based on level of discomfort, I would say he’s putting in an hour to two hours still. That guy has got a high level of pain tolerance. He’s pushing it. He wants to play again. Don’t bet against him breaking that win record at some point down the road.”

And don’t bet against Tiger playing some post-Thanksgiving, pre-Christmas golf.


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