Tiger Woods enters the great unknown at Torrey Pines

Tod Leonard, The San Diego Union-Tribune on

Published in Golf

"I just wanted to not feel as bad as I had felt for such a long time," Woods said. "I just want to have the lifestyle in which I can actually participate in my kids' life. ... Golf was not on the top of that list.

"But now that I'm able to start doing that, it feels good. It feels good to go out and practice. ... I haven't felt this good in years, so I'm excited about it."

Knowledgeable coaches have marveled at the swing speed Woods displayed in the Hero.

Woods' former instructor, Hank Haney, was interviewed Wednesday on PGA Tour Radio and predicted a top-10 finish for Woods this week.

"My goodness, his swing looks great," Haney said. "There is no way in the world that Tiger Woods cannot win golf tournaments with that swing."

Others are more skeptical.


"The Bahamas was a nice resort golf course. It was 85 degrees," CBS analyst Nick Faldo said on the phone this week. "Now you come to a proper golf tournament, on a proper golf course, with serious rough.

"Does he have the stamina for tournament week? Does he have the consistency?"

Woods played 27 holes at Torrey Pines to prepare for this event, and those questions remain unanswered. In Wednesday's pro-am on the extremely narrow North Course, he hit only six of 14 fairways and reached only seven greens in regulation.

But he also finished with a flurry, making a 25-foot eagle when he reached the par-five 17th in two shots and a birdie on 18 from two feet. He shot two-under 70.


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