Tiger Woods’ latest comeback attempt starts Thursday when he tees it up in the first round of the Farmers Insurance Open.
It will end a layoff of more than 17 months since he last played in a full-field PGA Tour event as necessitated by a pair of back surgeries. At this point, it’s tempting to say, “Who cares?”
Woods has had more reunion tours than Fleetwood Mac. He’s 41 at a time when six of the top nine players in the world are younger than 30. You need the fingers on both hands to count the number of known surgeries he’s had.
But for as much as I’m ready for the Tiger Woods Era to be over and am captivated by Jason Day-Jordan Spieth-Dustin Johnson-Rory McIlroy duel for No. 1, I’m clearly in the minority. One look at the TV ratings from when he played in December in the unofficial Hero World Challenge shows that. With Woods, who is ranked 663rd in the world, in the field in 2016, the tournament’s ratings rose an astronomical 190 percent on Thursday compared to the 2015 first round.
Even if, like me, you believe his window of catching Jack Nicklaus’ record of 18 major championships is closed, Woods is still the main event for the casual golf fan.