In what has been a rare occurrence, former number one ranked golfer on the PGA Tour is doing something that’s been out of the ordinary for the past few years: having a real shot at winning his 80th career tournament.

By Patrick Comia

Tiger Woods has been described as uncanny, brilliant, artistic, intimidating, superior, relentless, unflinching, invincible, and an all-around bad-ass on the golf course.

That was when he was winning golf tournaments with ease, and inching closer to the golden number of 18 in golfing majors.

However, the Woods of yesterday is not the same as today.

He’s become mortal, flawed, frustrated, confused, unsure of himself, and facing criticism. Not for his winning frequency, but lack of.

Woods’ swing has gone through four different changes, all having their own identity. But with that, their own swing thoughts, which is equivalent to traffic on your Monday morning commute to work.

Earlier this week, he received an exemption into the Hero World Gold Championships, which will be held later this year. And, that’s his own tournament.

That’s how bad things have gotten for Woods.

But, it seems that he is starting to put it together, at least for this weekend. In the Quicken Loans National golf tournament held in VA, Woods treated fans to a rare sighting: Tiger stalking in the first two rounds.

On Thursday, Woods opened with a -3 under par, 68 for the tournament. However, he started in a rough area, something that has been a regular sight in his outings. Through his first four holes, he bogeyed three of them to put him in the hole. But, he grinded out six birdies to get him into red numbers at the end of his round.

That included a birdie on a Par 5, something that was automatic in his previous years of dominance. And, Woods got on a run of four birdies in a row.

He followed that up with a Tiger-like second round -5 under par, 66 to put him three shots off the lead, and more importantly made the cut. His round included six birdies again, but this time only carded one bogey.

He is around for the weekend, and again has become the chatter of the golfing world.

The question remains, will Tiger’s prowl of the leaders become a stalk up the leaderboards? Will his traditional Sunday Red mean something and not just a fashion statement? Will he make other players nervous and fold under pressure when they see the name “WOODS” making a Saturday charge?

There’s no telling at this point. Just because he’s put together two great rounds, fans shouldn’t get their hopes up. Don’t mislead yourself and listen to the golf experts who say he is back.

We’ve seen this before at the Greenbriar Classic, where he shot three rounds in the 60’s and looked to be comfortable with his game. Back then, analysts on the Golf Channel were giving their premature “HE’S BACK” statements.

Then, the Open Championship happened. He had won this major three times, including twice at the this year’s venue, St. Andrew’s. He shot his first two rounds in the mid-70’s, to finish +7, and missed the cut.

Let’s see what happens today. If Woods can string together another strong round in the 60’s, he would give his fans more of an opportunity to hope he will do it, instead of heartbreak and disillusionment.

It starts with one hole. Stay the course, Mr. Woods.

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I'm a blogger trying to make it in this world. Have been, and always will be, a fan of the NYR and NYG. Writing for the New Jersey Devils cause, well, someone has to do it!