Twenty years ago, John Daly and his monster hair pulled back Crooked Stick Golf Club in the parking lot. It was the ninth alternate in the 1991 PGA Championship, and nobody knew who he was, as it was there or what he would do.
Four days later he left with Wanamaker Trophy.
Amazingly, Tiger Woods is now Daly 2011 - but without the powers Kenny / lisa east and down. It has become the mark of the final issue of golf.
We know that Tiger is, but after 17 years in the national consciousness, not yet known. His doing, not ours.
We know how he got here (four time winner of the PGA Championship, the top 50 world ranking), but we have no idea how much remains in the old Tiger Tiger post-fire hydrant.
And as Daly 20 years ago, no one knows, including Woods, how it will do this week in Atlanta Athletic Club. Wood-O-Meter from shortfall Cut No. 15 Major
Asked to describe their expectations realistic for the PGA, Woods said, "AW" - as a victory. "You want me to say more? A nice W. "
OK, I understand. What do you expect him to say, a T-59? This is a guy who spent his whole life to finish first conditioned.
But in reality, the Woods will not leave here only three career majors behind Jack Nicklaus record. In reality, it is a good chance he will not win at all this year and a decent chance he will not even qualify for the PGA Tour is designed Fed Ex Cup playoff system. And given the circumstances, there is nothing wrong with that.
It 's time for everyone, including Woods, to update the dictionary definition of the success of Tiger. And his leg Wednesday, Woods has actually confessed - something a first for him - even if he wants to win, when you expect to win, that does not need to win this year, is considered a success.
"It would be nice [to win]," said Woods. "I think the goal is to win every tournament I play, so it will not change. But I think the first thing is that I had to get healthy to come back to this level. If I had not been able to practice, had not been able to work on my game with [swing coach] Sean [Foley]. I was sidelined for a long time. It all started with good health first, and now I can start playing again. "
This is as close as Woods goes on to say that in 2011, W is not as important as PF (without pain). It is a confession because it shows how the knee and Achilles injuries affected Woods.
"As I said, I was always trying to block the pain," he said. "It's fun to play with that. It's good to have some sort of bounce in my step back and walk the hills and not have to worry about the hills."
Feeling good is not the same as playing well. But it's a start.
"For all that time he was gone, I think it looks pretty strong," said Foley, that Woods has finished playing nine holes in practice Wednesday. "It is difficult when you have all that pain. It takes all your energy from you. "
Foley, compared to the bodies of the athletes' Indy Car: sensitive to the slightest change in a precise, planned and based on individual races. If so, just out of the Woods from the garage repairs. He played the last no-cut WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, but it is full of the tournament the last four months.
"He obtained last week under his belt, which was nice to see him back competing again," said a friend Darren Clarke. "And I'm sure this week if Tiger plays golf, he can play, I have no doubt that it can be in contention this week."
But that's the problem when Woods handicap these days we do not know what kind of golf you can play. This is not a RIP Steve Williams, but the work is done.
Woods says knee and Achilles tendon is healthy and happy. He says his swing is back in one piece. He says he is hitting the ball farther and more flush than it has in months. And it's true.
But the timing and the world rankings to talk too much. Calendar says Woods is a graduate of the tournament just after the Masters in early April that has not won a Tour event since 2009, or a major since 2008. World ranking say that he dropped No. 1 October 2010, No August 30, 2011.
This week we hear of his PGA Championship Scorecard.
There is no consensus Woods opportunities. And 'because there are so many possibilities. Make the cut, missing the cut. Claim, will vanish. To win, watch on TV.
"It would surprise me if he went ahead and won the next few weeks, just because it comes out that the damage to me personally was very difficult, and I think everyone will feel the same way "said world No. 1 Luke Donald, who has overcome wrist surgery in 2008.
"Tiger dominated for so long - he can come back," said Bubba Watson. "He was injured when he could easily come back and dominate again."
Atlanta Athletic Club is lonnnngggg. Precision driving is not exactly a tiger force in recent years is an absolute necessity here. Woods would also be good if could get his putter in the plan scheduled to speak.
He did not have to worry about melodrama as Stevie, is pretty much over. He does not have to worry about hobbling around with a good leg.
"Yes, just go out and just play," said Woods. "It's great and it's the fun part."