Tiger Woods

USA Today

Tiger's History At Torrey Pines

Eldrick has won 8 times as a pro at Torrey.

January 23, 2019 - 10:37 am

If I'm coming to you live from Torrey Pines, it means we need to take a minute to talk about the man who has his name etched in stone all over this incredible place. The Cat. 

Eldrick has won 8 times as a pro at Torrey. Tiger has won the Farmers Insurance Open seven times. Seven wins on the PGA Tour is a helluva career. Seven wins in the Farmers Insurance Open? Dude has cashed more checks from Farmers than everybody not named J.K. Simmons.

But if you're talking Torrey and you're talking Tiger, it's tough not to think about THE PUTT. The one he rolled in about 100 feet from where I'm sitting right now. On one stick. When he absolutely needed it. To get into that 18-hole playoff with Rocco, and to win his last Major. 

That's what Tiger's career has been all about. And that's what 2019 is all about. 

Last time at this year, nobody knew what to expect from this guy. Hell, Tiger didn't know what to expect from himself. 

When you're putting a peg in the ground on the first tee and blasting your bazooka into the hay and hoping your spine doesn't explode, that is a crazy thing to be thinking about. I'm pretty sure your final swing thought before impact shouldn't be your fused together skeleton. But that's literally what Eldrick was thinking about when he went to dig his Bridgestone out of the rough on the very first hole of his comeback. 

But flip the calendar. Now The Cat isn't thinking about if he can twine and duct tape it together for 18 holes. He's thinking about the long haul: 

Look, I’ve spent a lot of time talking about Tiger over the years. Hell, I’ve spent a lot of time killing this dude for entering tournaments that he knew deep down he had no business being in. And then giving whack excuses like, "He couldn't get his GLUTES ACTIVATED." 

But last year proved a couple things: Dude COULD get through a WHOLE SEASON with his Glutes activated. The Cat could play a full schedule and not end up on the chiro's table. And maybe more important than all of it -- The Cat remembered how to win. 

That's where we're at with Eldrick. El Gato just blew out the candles on his 43rd birthday cake, but feels like a new man. He jet-packed his way up the World Golf Rankings. He made the Ryder Cup team. He worked his way back into contention faster than most people thought. And he finally ripped that W in the Tour Championship. 

And now it's time to go hunting for Jack. 

Let's be straight: Tiger chasing Jack is what Tiger's career has been all about. But he's been stalled out on the side of the road with the hood up since burying Rocco in extra holes. That was 2008

Look, for everybody believing that Tiger is immortal, and that a healthy Tiger will go back to dominating the tour like he did back in the early 2000s, that Tiger is never coming back. The tour is way too deep. The young guys are waaay too good. 

History isn't on his side. Run down a list of golf's all-time greats and count all the majors they've won after the age of 43. You only need 1 finger. Jack won at Augusta at age 46. And that's it.  

But, all you Tiger honks expecting me to kill this dude will be surprised. I'm not killing him. Hell, I'm doing the opposite. 

I said it last year during his comeback and I’ll double down on it right here. I think this dude's game IS BACK to where he can WIN at a major. Better yet, I think this dudes HEAD is back BELIEVING that he can win a major -- and I wouldn't have said that the past couple years. 

So Tiger kicks off 2019 at a place he owns. He's swinging new wrenches. He's got a new lease on life. He's right where he always is as one of the betting favorites. And for the first time in a long time, when he talks about winning Green Jackets and knocking off Majors he actually believes it. And so does pretty much everyone else.

Now you gotta go do it, Cat.