The Loop

Tiger's impeccable timing

February 19, 2009

The cynic might note that only after Phil Mickelson finally plays a good round did Tiger Woods announce his intention to return to competition next week, thus stealing headlines from his arch rival. "Tiger Returns." "Next Week's the Week." "Game on! Tiger's Back."

Oh, and incidentally, Mickelson shot 63 in the first round of the Northern Trust Open at Riviera Country Club to take the first-round lead.

The timing obviously was coincidental. In either case, the timing was impeccable following a prolonged stretch of largely negative news in the world of golf -- two positive headlines to push aside the doom and gloom, for a day at least.

Tiger's back. And so apparently is Mickelson.

-- John Strege