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Tiger Woods now has three PGA Tour starts under his belt in 2018: a T-23 at Torrey Pines (72-71-70-72), a MC at Riviera (72-76) and a 12th-place finish at PGA National (70-71-69-70). From what you’ve seen from him so far in the early stages of this comeback, are you more or less convinced today than you were six weeks ago that Woods will win again on Tour?
John Wood, caddie for Matt Kuchar (@johnwould): I was convinced before, and I’m more convinced now. He seems completely healthy. His short game looks vintage Tiger, his putting looks very good, and he is bombing it. But you can toss all that out the window and just watch him out there Saturday and Sunday. His eyes told you how much he was into it. Every shot was given 100% effort and attention. A 12th place finish in a strong field on a very difficult golf course isn’t the ultimate, but it’s huge progress for him. Hopefully he’s got a couple more starts between now and Augusta. I for one think there should be a lifetime exemption into world events if you’ve won, say, 18 of them. Nobody brings attention and fans to the game like Tiger. I say if he wants to play, you find him a spot.
Dylan Dethier, associate editor, GOLF.com (@dylan_dethier): More! What else could we have gotten from Tiger? Sure, he didn’t win, but he showed he can grind, contend, and swing out of his shoes. The fire is there, and much of the game seems to be, too. Excited to see where Tiger goes from here.
Josh Sens, contributing writer, GOLF Magazine (@JoshSens): Way more optimistic, but I was one of those dour pessimists before. Of course, there’s still no guarantee he’ll win again. No one knows what’s in store. But that’s what makes the watching so much fun. I hope he wins multiple times this year. I hope he goes on to smash Jack’s career major record. I hope he returns to the top of the game and remains there for as long as his health allows.
Joe Passov, senior editor, GOLF Magazine (@joepassov): I’m with Mr. Wood on Mr. Woods. I was confident six weeks ago and am more confident now. He’s teed it up on three tough courses, where par was a good score, and except for one frustrating round at Riviera, he’s been right there score-wise. With Honda, he’s now there with his swing and focus.
Jeff Ritter, digital development editor, GOLF.com (@Jeff_Ritter): I’ve been cautiously optimistic about this comeback all the way along, but this was obviously a huge step forward. I’m sure there will still be MCs and stumbles along the way, but we got a glimpse at what a healthy Woods can do, and it’s clear he can be a factor in top events going forward. And Augusta just got a little more interesting, didn’t it?