It’s Tiger time … or is Tiger Woods’ time over?

Tiger Woods walks with caddie Joe LaCava to a green during Wednesday’s pro-am prior to the Phoenix Open. (Getty Images)

Tiger Woods walks with caddie Joe LaCava to a green during Wednesday's pro-am prior to the Phoenix Open. (Getty Images)

Tiger Woods walks with caddie Joe LaCava to a green during Wednesday’s pro-am prior to the Phoenix Open. (Getty Images)

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — I’ve looked all over the TPC Scottsdale and can’t find Bill Belichick anywhere. Oh well, might as well stay here.

I’m taking a day off from mid-week, Super Bowl minutiae to cover Tiger Woods’ first event since he finished tied for last (18th) in his own invitational tournament in December (the Hero World Challenge at Isleworth) and his first PGA Tour event since missing the cut at the PGA Championship last August.

When Woods announced he would play in this week’s Phoenix Open, he sent out this Tweet, a reminder of his hole-in-one in this tournament in 1997.

Woods’ body has been breaking down. He played in only seven Tour events in 2014, missing the cut twice and failing to finish higher than 25th. He did not compete in the U.S. Open or the Masters and underwent microdiscectomy for a pinched nerve that he said, “has been hurting him for several months.”

If that’s not enough, Woods showed up at a ski event for girlfriend Lindsey Vonn in Italy missing a front, causing the internet to melt down with speculation about what happened. Woods explanation this week: He got hit the mouth by a cameraman. From Woods at his Tuesday news conference:

“I was looking down, and all the camera guys are below me on their knees or moving all around, trying to get a picture because she’s hugging people, saying congratulations to the other racers as they are coming down. Some already finished, some are there already in the changing area. … Dude with a video camera on his shoulder, right in front of me, kneeling, stood up and turned and caught me square on the mouth. He chipped that one, cracked the other one. … And so then, you know, I’m trying to keep this thing so the blood is not all over the place, and luckily he hit the one I had the root canal on. That’s the one that chipped. But the other one had to be fixed, as well, because it had cracks all through it.”

If Woods can’t get back to a competitive form, it won’t be because of his teeth. It will be because his back, knees and shoulders just can’t drive the ball with the power they used to and he can’t hold up over four rounds.

Is he pretty much done? We’ll find out, starting today. The Masters is just over two months away. Woods has been stuck on 14 major victories, four behind Jack Nicklaus, since the 2008 U.S. Open.

What kind of Tiger Woods will we see in 2015?

A recent writer’s dozen from the digital jukebox
— MyAJC: LeGarrette Blount walked out on team — and straight to Super Bowl
— AJC: Georgia’s Lockette playing for third straight Super Bowl team
— MyAJC: Dan Quinn says he’s ready for next challenge (with Falcons)
— AJC: Lynch goes into interview Beast Mode again (surprise!)
— MyAJC: Great or not, Patriots’ legacy is forever tarnished
— AJC: Seattle players say Quinn will be ‘great head coach’ for Falcons
— AJC: Brady says ‘feelings got hurt’ by accusations (really?)
— MyAJC: Hawks are closest team to rare Atlanta sports title
— AJC: Matt Ryan doesn’t believe deflating footballs is the norm
— MyAJC: Al Horford finally past injuries and frustration with Hawks
— AJC: Stall, lie, cheat — it’s the Patriots’ way, and perfectly timed
— AJC: DeflateGate: It’s time for NFL to forfeit games for cheaters
— MyAJC: Walsh-Montana still top Belichick-Brady on coach-QB mountain
— AJC: Seattle’s Super Bowl only delays Falcons’ hiring of Dan Quinn
— AJC: Oddsmaker says Braves’ win total will be ‘low 70s’ (with reader poll)
— MyAJC: Braves’ moves carry Coppolella’s fingerprints
— AJC: There goes Evan Gattis as Braves take another big hit
— AJC: Quinn was tabbed as ‘Next Great Coach’ but can Falcons get him?
— AJC: UPDATE: Bowles goes to Jets but if Falcons get Quinn it won’t matter
— AJC: Falcons should talk to John Fox before making decision on Quinn, Bowles
— AJC: Rex Ryan going to Buffalo — and that’s not bad news for Falcons
— AJC: Nick Saban, the mercenary, takes on ex-Bulldog Jonathan Taylor

Reader Comments 0

39 comments
SportsTopFan
SportsTopFan

We predicted a year ago that Tiger Woods will NEVER win another PGA Tour event  !!!

Wilbo
Wilbo

This guy's 15 minutes was over a long time ago. He isn't John Wayne, Elvis Pressley, or Marilyn Munroe, let him die a quiet death.


Scummy jerk.

Hexin Killy
Hexin Killy

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GeorgeJetsen
GeorgeJetsen

Today's 82 would suggest he's closer to joining my weekend group versus competing on the tour. When golfers lose their game it sometimes never comes back. Reference David Duval.

RamblinRed
RamblinRed

He looked awful today. There isn't any part of his game that looks PGA Tour ready right now.

His swing looks more natural, but it isn't accurate yet. Down middle one time, wide left next, wide right next.

Irons are a lot looser than they used to be.

But worst of all is everything around the green. He can't seen to chip to save his life. He was pulling the putter from 30 yds rather than chipping and he doesn't putt as well as he used to.


Some of it looks mental and that is very difficult to overcome. 


i wouldn't say he is done, but as a dominating presence he sure is. 

This is an easy course and he looked like a mediocre member. What happens when he gets to the Bermuda grass in FL or the greens in Augusta. You have to be able to chip and putt consistently on those surfaces and he doesn't look close to being ready for that.

Lucy Kel
Lucy Kel

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BSNBC
BSNBC

Woods is a mental case!

Reasonable2
Reasonable2

I think he is a terrible human being, but nobody was more fun to watch than Tiger in his prime!  And yes he brought big bucks and great excitement to the game!!

Horatio N. Fisk
Horatio N. Fisk

You guys have been writing the same 'tigers done' article for about 8 years now.  Is business slow?

BobDawg
BobDawg

It's been 7 years folks since he last made a move in a Major Way…. I think he is trying to keep his sponsors happy by saying he is thiiiiiisssssss cllllllloooooooose … yeah, Tiger, This close…. After today… So far away  (Carol King reference, sorry) 

Ron Mexico
Ron Mexico

Don't count him out. If I remember correctly, he won 4 or 5 times 2 years ago but does he have the same drive he had 10 years ago? 


He needs to put down the weights and learn how to chip and putt again. That's what wins out there. 

Thompson Tee
Thompson Tee

No player has yet to show the ability to consistently dominate the game like Tiger Woods or Jack Nicklaus. And no one, Jack included, has moved the economic needle of golf like Tiger. Billions of dollars and countless jobs created on the back of one man. Tiger haters = ignorance.

HonestInformed
HonestInformed

Stick a fork in him.....he is DONE!


Give Jack the clubs and balls that Tiglet has been playing with.................(when BOTH were in the prime of their careers) Jack would beat Tiglet 8 or 9 times out of 10. Compare integrity and character: Jack is a better person in ALL settings.

Hexin Killy
Hexin Killy

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Rickster_
Rickster_

Tiger may have been one of the most physically gifted golfers ever to play the game, but he'll never be the champion that Jack, Arnie, or Gary were.

prarrd
prarrd

It's a good thing he's 1/2 white, or he never would have achieved anything in life. 

RealKat
RealKat

Missing a front? Front what?

almmanduane75
almmanduane75

He's done. He won't catch Nicklaus.


I would like to the see the results if he and Jack switched equipment when both were in their prime.


The gap would be even wider my friends.

Bogey
Bogey

Tiger APPEARS to be swinging more naturally, like 10+ yrs ago, but we'll see if his body holds up.  What he did with Sean Foley was laughable - the most contrived golf swing I've ever seen.


He still has the competitive fire, but he no longer has that feeling of invincibility....and everyone else knows it now.  Plus, his chipping is a train wreck.....he's got the yips.  It happens to the best of them, although usually with his putting - don't be surprised if it gravitates from chipping to putting this year.  Yips got Hogan, Snead, Palmer, Azinger...

GeorgeJetsen
GeorgeJetsen

Wrong Jeff. He's no longer competitive because of too many swing overhauls over the years. Someone should have locked him up when he decided to change his swing after completing the Tiger slam. The game of golf is hard enough and very time you change your sing you lose a bit of your feel and natural ability. Tiger has basically depleted himself of this over the years and now is just another struggling golfer - albeit with a big name.

zamboni_racer
zamboni_racer

I miss Tiger being a strong competitor, was great for the game of pro golf back when he was a contender.  I hope he can come back strong this year and give Rory a run for the money on those major Sunday afternoons.  But I wouldn't put money on that happening.

JONBONBON
JONBONBON

Stick a marinator in him... He is history and will always be a has-been

Bogey
Bogey

@JONBONBON  Got news for you.....EVERY athlete that eventually becomes "history" is technically a has-been.  In his prime, there was nobody better, ever!  And I grew up watching Jack, Arnie, Gary, Lee, Tom, etc. play at a dominating level.  On the other hand, I never liked him....lousy human.

NorwegianBlue
NorwegianBlue

I honestly don't care much which direction Tiger's game goes, but it sure would be nice if he got right with God. It has been one super slow mo train wreck ever since the events preceding his divorce. He seems totally lost, and it's painful to watch.

GetBackJojo
GetBackJojo

Tiger is so OV Long live the Golden Bear !!!

Foundstar
Foundstar

Got that 3rd wind Tiger??? Tempus Dictum...

goblue86
goblue86

Even when he has been healthy over the last couple of years, he has had a tendency to implode on Sundays.  Doesn't have that "finisher" confidence that he used to have and, subsequently, competition is no longer intimidated by him.  Kind of like the latter-years of Tyson.


GTBob
GTBob

Tiger was PGA player of the year just two years ago. If he stays healthy he will make some noise. It would be great for Golf if he finds his stride and Rory is playing well at the same time.

OH_IO
OH_IO

He'll have a great year.


4-5 wins plus a major. 

ChefTimDix
ChefTimDix

Neither but the new generation will be served. Tiger will get his too. This is a great time for golf.