Tiger Woods, straight off of his vice captaincy of the winning U.S. Ryder Cup team, is set to make his return to golf on October 13th at the Safeway Open after a full year off.
Woods underwent multiple back surgeries at the end of the 2014-2015 season after finishing tied for 10th at the Wyndham Championship. In the time that Woods has been gone there have been plenty of rumors about not only his health, but the state of his game.
When Woods appeared on TV at the Hero World Challenge in December of 2015, he looked to be in bad shape. He slouched in his chair and didn’t seem enthusiastic about golf or a return. He reappeared before the Quicken Loans National and hit three straight wedge shots from around 100 yards into the water.
Woods’ much anticipated return to golf will subsequently come with many hot takes regarding the state of his game.
In an interview in Golf Digest, Jesper Parnevik — who introduced Woods to his former wife Elin Nordegren — had plenty of good things to say about Big Cat. Parnevik is a member at Medalist, where Woods does most of his practicing, and says he has even played nine holes with the 14-time major winner.
“I see Tiger at the Medalist. We talk and have played nine holes together,” Parnevik tells Golf Digest senior writer Guy Yocom. “By the way, he’s been hitting a lot of balls, and he’s hitting it great. He’s pounding it a mile and flushing everything. On the range, at least, his trajectory and ball flight are like the Tiger we knew 15 years ago. Comebacks are never a sure thing, but something tells me his might be spectacular.”
Parnevik also said he has forgiven Woods for his marital indiscretions.
“When the infidelity came to light, it felt like the worst betrayal ever,” Parnevik said. “But over time, I forgave Tiger. He and Elin are friends, which is nice, and he’s a good parent. His mistakes hurt him, too.”
While we all wait to see what version of Tiger Woods we’ll see at the Safeway Open, if he actually does play, we can look back at some of the better moments Woods has provided over the years.