Grant on the Green: Tiger returns...again

(Read in an announcer's voice) For the first time since the middle of August when he missed the cut at the PGA Championship... the second time since withdrawing at the Players Championship in May... the third time since February at the World Golf Championships... playing out of Windemere Florida and still searching for his swing. Ladies and gentleman, Tiger Woods...

Usually a comeback happens only once. Not two of three times. Or four time in this case but Tiger has returned to the PGA Tour for the Open.

He is trying to retool his game before the President's Cup in Australia next month. And he needs reps.

Tiger posted a +2, 73 in the opening round Friday. A double bogey, two bogeys and two birdies highlighted his first competitive round in seven weeks. It was rough to see him move around the course.

He looked stiff, he looked robotic and he didn't look like he was having fun. Tiger looked like a guy trying to play good golf, instead of just playing golf. He looked like a guy trying to make the cut so he can earn his tour card for the next season instead of a guy who could bring this course in California to it's knees.

I've busted a knee before. I recovered. He has recovered from his knee injury, and the achilles is taking time. I get that. But eventually he needs to focus on his game and get back to business.

Tiger said before and after the round that he needs the reps. Needs more time swinging the club to get back into rhythm. But he wants to keep pounding balls on the range instead of play in tournaments. Imagine how good Tiger could be again if he started playing a regular schedule on the Tour again? Playing in more events and racking up the low numbers. He could get back to his normal self.

He has tinkered and toyed and poked and prodded with what used to be the best golf swing in the world. He is still tinkering with it. Tiger admits it. Call it the optimist in me but I think Tiger returns to greatness soon. Just how soon? We have to wait and see.