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Tiger Woods

Tiger’s second round at the Buick Open today — nine-under, taking him to 10-under for the tournament and tied for third — reminded us why we’re concerned whether or not he’s doing well whenever he tees up. Tiger’s missed British Open cut led to missives about Hank Haney being fired, his on-course behavior (wow, he’s human and cusses like most athletes in the world) and in some cases, whether or not he still has “it.”

I think today’s round answered a couple of questions. Is golf better when Tiger is playing well? Absolutely yes. The ratings bear this out. Is he going to get back on track? Today proves there’s still something in the tank worth paying attention to. Now we find out whether or not he can sustain his good play. Considering his until-the-British-Open top ten finishes in Majors this year, I’m not sure why the worries got so loud, but they did.

Granted, Tiger’s relatively benign opening round in the Buick didn’t do much to silence the murmuring doubts. It’s also true that, even if Woods wins the Buick Open, he’ll be judged on his performance in the upcoming PGA Championship. It’s pretty much a “Major or bust” approach to Tiger now, and he only has himself to blame for such a high standard.

But today reminded us why we watch and why we want to watch Tiger when he’s playing — especially when he’s playing well.

It should be noted that Tiger’s was not the only low score in the second round. Roland Thatcher shot an eight-under, while Charles Warren and leader Michael Letzig were at seven-under. Mark Brooks was six-under while a number of others were four-and-five-under par.

If scoring stays like this, you might need a -20 to win the thing.