It isn't too often that
But the grin on his face after the Hero World Challenge in early December had nothing to do with the score and everything to do with playing pain-free.
"Look how far I'm hitting it again now," he told reporters after the 18-player event in Florida. "That's nice."
While Jordan Spieth was sprinting to victory at 26-under, Woods and his new swing consultant were ironing out a revamped game and drawing early praise. That, in itself, offered reason to look forward to the resumption of the
"It's a process to get back to that [winning] level," Woods said. "You've got to build up to it."
How far will the former No. 1 player rebound in 2015? That is but one question mark facing golf in the coming year.
Fans will be watching the man who succeeded him as the game's biggest name,
This season will also mark the swan song for the anchored putter and the dawn of a new American effort to be competitive in the
A look at what to expect around golf in the new year:
Can McIlroy stay on top?
After winning the British Open and the PGA Championship, by the end of the 2014 season McIlroy appeared to burn out. Still, he managed a second-place tie at the DP World Tour Championship and helped Europe retain the Ryder Cup. "I haven't finished outside the Top 25," he said. "My last few results have been very consistent, very good." With that kind of steadiness — and some time off — he should be more than ready for 2015.
What about Tiger's 'new' swing?
It isn't really new, more of a return to the longer, more upright form he showed earlier in his career. During months of rehab, Woods watched video spanning his entire career back to juniors and hired Chris Como as a consultant. The reviews from the Hero World Challenge were positive. "Looked like the club was going through a lot freer,"
Will we see more new faces atop the
The top two finishers in 2014 — Billy Horschel and
What about the young guns?
Spieth isn't the only 20-something making a name for himself on the Tour.
Can the U.S. ever win another Ryder Cup?
The biennial match won't come around again until 2016, but the PGA of America has assembled a task force to figure out how to stop Europe's current winning streak. Woods and
Is the anchored putter already a thing of the past?
Officially, players can continue using the long sticks until January 2016.