IT IS tempting to call for trumpets to be blown to herald Tiger Woods’s return to action this week, but I fear the world No 1 is about to take the biggest risk of his career.
Put it this way: Would he be making that comeback after a lay-off due to back surgery if the Quicken Loans National at Congressional didn’t benefit his own foundation?
Sure, he’s started to hit full shots again after missing the opening two majors of the season and feels he needs to start shaking off the rust that has developed since his last competitive outing in March.
However, the rough at the Bethesda venue is reported to be four inches thick so there’s a danger of Woods setting himself back if he strays into that. Which is why we’ll need to wait and see how he fares this week before getting excited about him being at Royal Liverpool next month for the Open Championship.
One player heading there is new Irish Open champion Mikko Ilonen, who won the Amateur Championship at the Merseyside venue in 2000.
The following year, by which time the Finn had joined the paid ranks, he was giving a good account of himself in the Open Championship at Royal Lytham. Working for the Edinburgh Evening News at the time, when I was covering Hearts, I hoped to secure a line from him on compatriot Antti Niemi.
“Who?” replied Ilonen, when I mentioned the Tynecastle goalkeeper, oblivious to the fact that football ranked way down in his homeland against the likes of ice hockey.