The number one question on the minds of golf fans around the globe in 2012 is: Has Tiger Woods returned to his winning ways? I wish I had the answer to that question but like most golf writers I can only speculate.
Woods broke a 270 day slump by winning the Chevron World Challenge in December in dramatic fashion. Coming down the stretch he birdied the 17th and 18th holes to edge Zach Johnson out by a shot. His win was not only a major win for Woods but it was a shot in the arm for the golf world as a whole. Let's face it golf needs Tiger Woods.
In his absence golf was that also ran sport on television right behind professional bowling and beach volleyball. Rating dropped and there was little or no buzz about golf in general. During Tigers' absence no one really stepped up and grabbed the spotlight. I agree Woods left some huge shoes to fill, but no single player dominated golf in the manner Tiger did in the past. Granted there were some great individual performances in 2011, but nothing to duplicate the accomplishments of Tiger Woods.
I know I sound like a die hard Tiger Woods fan and in many ways I am. However I love the game of golf a lot more than any single player and I feel like Tiger Woods embodies what the game of golf is all about. His tenacity and drive to win in unparalleled in his sport. Woods has set a standard that is so difficult to attain that he may never reach it again himself. In 2011, we saw Woods struggle with his game and his life. the world saw a man who seemed lost on the golf course. It seemed as though Tiger didn't know who Tiger Woods was. But in typical Tiger Woods fashion he kept grinding and found the winniner circle at the end of the year.
What does 2012 have in store for the world former # 1 player? Will he regain his form and dominate the game he once ruled with a iron fist or was his year ending win a mere fluke? Only time will tell. As the 2012 Masters nears all eyes will be on the well- manicure grounds of Augusta National to see if Tiger Woods will win his fifth green jacket and once again become the Tiger we all knew and sometimes loved.