Can Tiger Woods get into contention for Open golf in 2012?

He's won the Masters 4 times, the US Open 3 times, the British Open 3 times and the PGA 4 times.  Whatever he does from now on, Tiger Woods will go down in the record books as one of the all time greats. The question is, can he make a return to the kind of form that made him the favourite for every Open golf tournament from the late 1990s onwards?

Tiger's much publicised private life meltdown seems to have had a lasting impact on his golf. A new season may allow him to regroup, focus on his assets (not inconsiderable) and begin to restore a little self-belief.

Golf opinion divides into 2 camps on the Tiger issue. A small but vociferous group hold the view that he was a hurricane who shook up golf and has now blown out. The more considered pundits point out that golf professionals stay competitive well into their 30s and 40s (and 60s if they are Tom Watson) and Tiger, just 36 in December 2011, will be no exception.

If we listen to the man himself, on his own website at www.tigerwoods.com, he's understandably keen to accentuate the positive.

He says that the knee and Achilles tendon injuries that affected his schedule in 2011 are now in the past. He's been working on his game with the coach Sean Foley and trying to recapture some of the old instincts that won those 14 majors.

Finding a new caddy is a priority. He says he's looking for 2 main attributes: a lot of experience, and a person he'll have fun with.

Tiger obviously needs to recapture the enjoyment of just going out on the course and playing to win. Much of his blog is concerned with plugging the latest Nike products, which might be part of his problem. Before he was a global figurehead for a sportswear company, Tiger Woods was just a great golfer. He needs to revisit that personality to start dominating Open golf like the old days.


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