By Andrew Wright published
While most - including the man himself - don't expect much from Tiger Woods' return to golf at the PNC Championship, a source close to the 15-time Major champion is already in awe of how his game is shaping up just 10 months removed from that serious car accident.
That source is Mike Thomas, a PGA pro who has guided the career of his superstar son, Justin, so he knows good golf when he sees it. After revealing he played twice with Tiger last week, Thomas Snr gave a glowing assessment of his progress.
"Good. Yeah, good," said Thomas. "It's crazy how good he's hitting it and far he's hitting for what he's been through."
After nearly losing his right leg, it's nothing short of remarkable to hear such a statement, and it won't be long before fans can see for themselves.
The 36-hole Texas Scramble event provides arguably the perfect setting for Woods to make his latest in a long line of comebacks. He and Charlie will tee it up alongside Team Thomas - the defending champions - on Saturday in Orlando. Even in the circumstances, they'll undoubtedly be looking to improve on their seventh-place finish of last year and get one over on their playing partners.
And for those watching in America, such is the anticipation to see the game's biggest star back in action that you'll be able to watch today's pro-am live on the Golf Channel.
Of course, the real tests are yet to come. Since his first appearance back after a long injury lay-off, Tiger has been keen to set low expectations for himself and his hoard of fans. Now, however, talk will be rife that he could return to the upper echelons of the game and compete with the world's best.
"I mean, we all know him well enough to know that he's never going to admit to be close to being where he'd like to be," Mike Thomas added. "I mean, more importantly, where he normally would be compared to now.
"I think more importantly is his shot, that whatever he has right now is, I mean, he's still -- he's got some speed. He's got some length. Hits a lot of really, really flush shots. I mean, I was surprised."
A lifelong golf fan, Andy graduated in 2019 with a degree in Sports Journalism and got his first role in the industry as the Instruction Editor for National Club Golfer. From there, he went on to enjoy a spell freelancing for Stats Perform covering football, and then for RacingNews365 covering Formula 1, but he couldn't turn down the opportunity to get back into the sport he grew up watching and playing. He now covers a mixture of equipment, instruction and news for Golf Monthly's website and print title.
Andy took up the game at the age of seven and even harboured ambitions of a career in the professional ranks for a spell. That didn’t pan out, but he still enjoys his weekend golf at Royal Troon and holds a handicap of 1. As a side note, he's made five holes-in-one and could quite possibly be Retief Goosen’s biggest fan.
As well as the above, some of Andy's work has featured on websites such as goal.com, dailyrecord.co.uk, and theopen.com.
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