Tiger Woods A Favorite To Win At Quicken Loans National This Weekend

Tiger Woods comeback tour has been an overall success, despite the living legend’s inability to secure a PGA Tour win yet. Woods has given fans and critics some memorable moments and flashes of the old Tiger during his 2018 return to competition as a legit, healthy, but older challenger. 

Woods mere presence has reinvigorated television ratings and made all of the events he plays a must see event. Woods hasnt won yet this year, but his impact and presence has been felt. 

Once an untouchable titan of the sports world, before entering this season, Woods had played only 23 events on the PGA Tour since his last victory. He also has gone almost five drama-filled years without winning an event. A whirlwind of difficulties have befallen Woods since that victory at the Bridgestone Invitational in August 2013 when he was No. 1 in the world

With his 2018 return to the tour, Tiger has bounced back from the doldrums and given fans hope that hes back to stay. He finished tied for second at the Valspar Championships, tied for fifth at the Arnold Palmer Invitational and tied for a strong 11th place finish in the Players Championship. 

Woods has endured many changes to get back to his current 82nd place world ranking. Its a long way from when he was on top of the game week in and week out, but his willingness to adjust, grow and maturely admit his mistakes has made him No. 1 in the peoples hearts again. 

The Shadow League on Twitter

Watch Nike’s ‘Welcome Back’ commercial celebrating Tiger Woods’ return to #TheMasters. https://t.co/DXhoarPT2z

Many golf experts believe this is the weekend that Tiger finally returns to the top of the leaderboard. The Quicken Loans National at Avenel Farm is set up for a Woods victory. According to ESPN golf writer Bob Harig, The field here is not the strongest, it’s not like a major championships field. It’s not as strong as the field of the tournaments (Tiger) has played this year. There are only four Top 30 players in the world entered.

Aside from his physical challenges, peace of mind has been something that Tigers lacked over the past  half decade. His demons of the past still linger at times —  broken relationships and the like —  but he’s taking steps towards resolving those old issues as well.  

In fact, on Wednesday Tiger reconnected with his old caddy, Mike “Fluff” Cowan, in an emotional reunion that made the golf world shed a tear and get nostalgic. Fluff was with Woods at the beginning of his prolific career, but the pair separated in 1999. They are considered probably the greatest caddy-player tandem to ever grace the tour. 

PGA TOUR on Twitter

Where it started. Tiger & Fluff, hugging it out. #LiveUnderPar https://t.co/qMN2dEJEms

In addition to mending broken fences, Tiger had the courage to announce that he is changing to a mallet-style putter in hopes of giving himself the final edge he needs to win another tournament. Tiger, who tees off on Thursday at 1pm in the first round of the Quickens Loan National, won 13 majors with his old Scotty Cameron putter. He is unafraid of showing his vulnerabilities. 

Tiger has never done this, said ESPN golf writer Bob Harig.Maybe we can count on one hand the number of times in his career that he’s changed putters. Now hes experimenting with something that completely different. Obviously hes been having some issues on the greens here these last few tournaments and he wanted a different look and hes still trying to decide whether he wants to use it or not, but just the fact that he’s put so much time in with it are interesting and obviously quite a change for him. 

Golf Digest on Twitter

Will a new putter help Tiger turn things around on the greens? https://t.co/nLH30OrKcC

According to Westgate Las Vegas Superbook, Tiger has the second highest odds at 12-1 to win the thing, behind only Rickie Fowler who stands at 7-1. Tiger has insisted that hes been hitting the ball great, just not making enough puts. 

Never resting on his laurels or past greatness, he is still trying to make his way to the top of golfs food chain. 

JR Gamble joined The Shadow League in 2012. The General Manager of Content & Social Media is in his 25th year of covering sports and culture professionally. He has covered a wide variety of major sports and entertainment topics across different mediums, including radio, newspapers, magazines and national TV. His passion is baseball, the culturing of baseball and preserving and documenting the historically-impactful accomplishments and contributions of African-Americans in baseball.