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- Tiger Woods briefly held the lead by himself at the Hero World Challenge.
- Woods looked healthy, but he also looked confident, hitting the golf ball like the Tiger of old.
- The biggest problem Woods appears to be facing is simply stamina.
We should all probably sit down, take a deep breath, and try to temper our excitement about Tiger Woods. But that is proving difficult considering how well he is playing at the Hero World Challenge.
Woods briefly took the lead outright in the second round at 9-under, and later fell back to 7-under, tied for fourth place. He finished his round five shots behind the leader, Charley Hoffman, who was a whopping 9-under in the second round.
Coming into the tournament, we wanted to see if Woods was really healthy this time, as the pre-tournament reports indicated. So far, so good. More importantly, we have seen things nobody was expecting — swagger, confidence, and a lot of incredible golf shots.
It is still too early to start thinking about winning majors, or even this tournament, but for the first two rounds at least, it sure looked like Tiger is back.
Woods unleashed his driver in the first two rounds every chance he could get. Check out this drive on No. 15. He out-drove his playing partner, Henrik Stenson, by 25 yards. Does this look like a swing from somebody who is worried about their back?
Woods also reached the green in two on the Par 5 ninth hole that measures 603 yards (603!).
His second shot was from 271 yards out and he attacked it without any hesitation. Not only did Woods reach the green on his second shot, he played the ball up in the air enough so that the ball landed softly on the green instead of rolling through.
This led to an eagle and the outright lead.
And then there is the touch around the green. Remember when Tiger had the yips and routinely flubbed pitches and chips?
Check out the touch on this shot.
On the green, Woods struggled with his speed on a couple of putts, but also made some long putts, leading to three birdies on the first four holes.
The biggest problem Woods seems to have right now is stamina. He was 1-over on the final four holes in Round 1. In Round 2, he played the final seven holes at 2-over with no birdies.
After the round, Woods was asked how close he is to being back to the level he wants to be.
“I’m just getting back, so I’ve still got a long way to go,” Woods said. “That’s going to take time, a lot more practice, a lot more training, and more tournaments.”
There is still work to do. But for now, it is fun watching Tiger play golf and compete.