Mendoza: Tiger is back?

·2 min read

Tiger Woods was finally back in action. And although he finished second, he got the noisier, heartwarming applause than the winner.

Tiger and his son, Charlie, settled for the runner-up prize of $80,000, with John Daly and John Daly II pocketing the winner’s purse of $200,000.

But the crowd at the PNC Golf Championship featuring a father/son tandem at the Ritz-Carlton event in Orlando, Florida, reserved the lustiest cheers for Tiger and Charlie.

For one, the Woods set a record of sinking 11 straight birdies from the 8th to the 17th.

For another, it was only Tiger’s first public tournament after surviving a single car crash in February that saw his vehicle reduced to a total wreck and his right leg nearly crushed beyond repair. So badly damaged was the leg that it miraculously escaped amputation.

Tiger and Charlie, the youngest participant at 11, were behind the Dalys by just one going to 18. But the Woods could only par the last hole against birdie by the Dalys, who won by two with their 27-under total.

The Woods couldn’t complain as they had a total of 13 birdies and an eagle in a bogey-free round of 36 holes.

“That was the goal entering the tournament,” said Tiger, who added, “It got interesting and a little tight toward the end, which was fun.”

The Thomas Team and Cink Team tied for third worth $53,625 for each in the two-day drama virtually centered around Tiger Woods.

Eleven years ago, Tiger escaped serious injuries when he got his black Cadillac Escalade pinned between a fire hydrant and a tree in Florida.

In February this year, driving at 85 mph, he lost control of his Genesis luxury SUV and wrecked it beyond recognition, leaving it teetering on its side in a roadside ditch in California.

It was a miracle that Tiger survived the second car crash, although his right leg, right ankle and right foot all got badly damaged. Doctors used titanium for screws, pins and bolts to save the leg from the knee down and make Tiger, a 15-time major winner, whole again.

In the PNC tournament, Tiger played magic, delivering strokes reminiscent of his golden era, prodding one competitor to say, “It’s a miracle, indeed, at how Tiger is recovering that fast, and playing a bit at the same level that he was before.”

Are we seeing Tiger’s second coming?

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