NASSAU, Bahamas — The final decade of Tiger Woods’ profession has been a sequence of stops and begins, the golf world greedy for each comeback earlier than he goes away as soon as extra. The promise of one other new starting has introduced this group right here, ready patiently for a Mercedes-Benz very like those which have ferried the opposite key companions to this a part of Albany Golf Course.But then Tiger Woods simply appeared, seemingly from skinny air. He walked across the nook of the white tent — alone — like he was merely on his morning stroll and stated, “Hey, guys,” to the ready media. The No. 1 participant on the earth is within the discipline at this comparatively obscure golf match within the Caribbean, as is the 2023 PGA Tour champion, two 2023 main winners and a lot of the remainder of the largest names in golf. But because it all the time does, all consideration centered as an alternative on the person at the moment ranked No. 1,328 on the earth.
At first, as Tiger Woods sat down for his annual press convention to preview the Hero World Challenge — a no-cut, limited-field occasion he hosts for himself and his PGA Tour buddies — and focus on the state of Tiger Woods, he appeared similar to the 15-time main champion that he’s. But because the dialog unfolded, the fact of the brand new particular person in entrance of us turned clear. Here was Tiger Woods, PGA Tour coverage board member. Tiger Woods, the co-founder of a brand new golf league. Tiger Woods the investor, the restaurateur, the course designer. Tiger Woods, the 47-year-old legend transitioning towards and turning into the authoritative, senior presence of a sport in disaster.
“Don’t say senior,” Woods quipped. “I’m not there yet. I’ve got a couple more years.”
Woods can also be a golfer, once more. And he plans to maintain enjoying for some time, saying his proper ankle is powerful sufficient to permit him to stroll 18 holes with out ache following his post-Masters subtalar fusion surgical procedure. He even hinted at enjoying a once-a-month schedule in 2024, which would come with all 4 majors. But little or no about Woods’ focus Tuesday was on his enjoying skill and future profession, joking, “I’m just as curious as all of you with what’s going to happen. I haven’t done this in a while.”
His newest comeback was the secondary storyline, the main target as an alternative on the way forward for the PGA Tour and males’s skilled golf. He was a politician/govt, speaking confidently about each situation for the PGA Tour. He answered questions in regards to the standing of the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia negotiations with the identical conviction as if PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan was saying it. Maybe extra authority, wielding his energy round three totally different instances to say Monahan making offers with the PIF with out the gamers enter “can’t happen again.”
He drove residence the necessity for the gamers to manage their very own future, the identical want that led to gamers pressuring Monahan so as to add an additional board seat for gamers and for that seat to go to Woods. He spoke of a number of “other options” for the PGA Tour to search out new funding if the PIF deal doesn’t occur. He answered questions in regards to the new TGL league he helped begin as a counter to the staff mannequin of LIV, the rival league funded by PIF.
Woods, some of the idiosyncratic and ruthless opponents within the historical past of sports activities, is now working because the main power for change in golf.