Tiger Woods had a good enough opening round at the Hero World Challenge that he received praise from one of his biggest critics, Brandel Chamblee. Chamblee, who gave Woods an F after a five win season in 2013, graded his opening round an A.
“If you’ve been asleep for the last eight years and you woke up and the last time you saw Tiger Woods play was in 2009 you’d think, ‘what’s the big deal? That’s exactly the same guy.
“This was far better than I expected. I gave him an A. Only reason I didn’t give him an A-plus, he didn’t chip the ball particularly well. But this is the best I’ve seen him swing since before all the injuries and before all that stuff that everybody would rather really not want to talk about.
“His ball speed on one shot was 178 miles an hour, another shot was 180 that’s about a 96 mile-an-hour fastball. That is big league stuff. The last time Tiger played, his clubhead speed was 114 miles an hour. That basically translates to a 10, 12 [mph] difference in ball speed.
“This is Tiger Woods feeling good, swinging good. It was visible. You didn’t have to wait very long. You saw the tee shot on number one.
Well, that’s surprising. Chamblee is seeing what we’re all seeing in looking at the positives. Woods looks relaxed. His swing looks very smooth and he doesn’t appear to be in any pain and that is a huge difference from his other attempted comebacks.
Chamblee continued, saying Woods game looks, “put together.”
“The jigsaw puzzle’s out there on the table, right? Really, it’s put together. It’s just that one piece that is missing. It is the short game. That’s where he was dazzling. He was far from dazzling today. To be fair, yes, these are very grainy surrounds and they are wet. But I really only saw one other player chunk a chip today.”
Welcome aboard the Woods hype train! There’s plenty of room for everyone to climb back on.
[HT Golf Digest]