If one more person asks if Tiger Woods is back, I'm going to go postal. I realize the phrase "going postal" is a bit dated, but it's appropriate being that it dates back to around the time everyone wants Woods to revert to. And now that he's collected another trophy -- passing Jack Nicklaus' career win total in the process -- professional golf journalists the world over are back to beating the proverbial horse. That poor horse; if it ain't dead, it's dying a slow, painful death.
So now that he's passed Jack in career wins, is he back?
Maybe he was back when he won his first tournament in two years?
Or was he back when he took the lead in wins on the PGA Tour this year?
Leading the money list?
Apparently none of these accomplishments have satiated the journalistic quest of golf pundits. As if pounding it into our ear holes will make us want to carry on this fruitless debate any longer.
So let the horse-beating resume.
After winning the Memorial, the question dominated most every sports page. A Google search for the phrase "Is Tiger Woods Back" on June 4 (the day after the Memorial), returned 106 results. 106 different people proposed, and tried to answer, the question in one day. If you assumed the past 24 hours wouldn't yield such high results, you'd be right -- only 96 posts so far, although the day is only half over (and this makes 97). In the past month alone, from that June 4 to today, there have been 542 to pose the question. Those are but a drop in the bucket of the over 59,000 articles online containing the exact phrase.
CBS Sports at least had the presence of mind to try and reframe it around the tired conversation instead of the question itself. But maybe that's because they're letting CBS News do the heavy lifting (vote now!)
After this weekend, SBNation not only posed it, they dubbed it a "key question."
Hell (no pun intended), the Christian Science Monitor even weighed in.
Of course the list goes on and on. And while we may not be able to agree upon the level of Tiger's back-ness, at least there is one thing we can agree on: Tiger Woods can finally put the horse out to pasture by winning one of these last two majors. Let's hope he does, because I don't think I can take another year of this hard-hitting journalism.
Besides, we still have a few more decades of the "Who's the next Tiger Woods?" debate to look forward to.
-- Derek Evers