As a player this week, Woods can still intimidate his opponents, but around his teammates he is the same accessible leader who he changed as assistant captain during the event in 2016 when he freely shared his knowledge and encouraged American players to use his experience. He showed them a side that older players were only treated in small glimpses, like when Bubba Watson, now 39 years ago, played in a tournament in Japan and had links with Woods about video games.
But the week after the Ryder Cup the calendar of the golf season turns. When Woods returns to competition – most likely not until early December at the event he organizes at the Bahamas – it will be interesting to see which Tiger the other players will face.
Will it be the collegiate Woods who talked to DeChambeau on TPC Boston and with Rory McIlroy on Sunday during the Tour Championship? Or the forest that was walled from the world and nervous opponents only by appearing? Woods told a friend last year that he longed for the younger players to feel the heat of playing the back nine of a Sunday tournament, taking the lead, a scenario that took place during the Tour Championship.
"Many of these guys had not played against me yet," explained Woods. "I think when my game is there, I feel I've always been a hard person to beat, they jokingly said," We want to go against you. "Okay, after that."
Playing with the main Sunday, Woods opted for a conservative approach and let McIlroy and Justin Rose, his two closest rivals who entered the final round, beat themselves, what they did, over the final of 18 in a combined seven pass . It felt awful again like 2008, when the Woods opponents knew he was going to win and he knew that his opponents knew he was going to win.
"It was a different atmosphere around Tiger at that time, and he used it to his advantage," Scott said.
Billy Horschel finished as Woods's runner-up at the Tour Championship and closed back two battles after he scored a score five better than Woods & # 39; s 71. As Horschel walked to the 17th tee at East Lake Golf Club, he crossed paths with Woods, which passed the 14th fairway. Horschel thought about saying something to Woods, but then he saw his expression. Horschel stopped and let him pass, as a tennis player gave priority to another in a change, and never uttered a word.
"Tiger looked like the old tiger," Horschel said.