Nearly a month removed from his withdrawal from the Players Championship, Tiger Woods and all the drama that surrounds him return to competition today at the Memorial Tournament.Maintaining the No. 1 spot atop the World Golf Rankings for the last five years, there is never a lack of public intrigue surrounding Tiger Woods.With his recent neck injury and issues with his personal life, however, the 14-time major champion has drawn even more headlines than usual in the last six months. It has been a rocky road for Woods dating back to his Nov. 27 car accident. From the admittance of his adulterous ways to his pending divorce, Tiger’s life off the course was a mess.Professionally, things started looking up for Woods following a strong showing at Augusta National in which he finished tied for fourth. Tiger’s moment of light was short lived. After missing the cut at the Quail Hollow Championship, Woods couldn’t even finish the following week at the Players Championship, withdrawing on the seventh hole during Sunday’s final round due to a sore neck. Resting and rehabbing his neck since the Players, Tiger is back at the Memorial trying to right the ship once again. “I think that life is moving forward … the last six months have been pretty tough, and I’m now starting to get into golf and starting to play golf again,” he said.Being the defending Memorial champion and having the most all-time wins of any player at Jack Nicklaus’ tournament, this week seems as good as any for Tiger to get back at it.“I’ve always had good memories here,” Woods said. “It’s nice to come back to a golf course when obviously I haven’t played a whole lot this year, but it’s nice to come back to a venue where I have played well.”While Muirfield has treated him well, it remains to be seen whether Woods’ game is back to the form that golf fans are accustomed to, especially considering his recent break-up with longtime swing coach Hank Haney.“I’ve hit the ball much better,” Woods said. “It’s just like anything, though. It’s great to hit it at home, but I need to bring it out here.” For the time being, Tiger is using video to analyze his own swing and says as of now he has no plans for hiring a new coach.Even with the recent neck injury and mediocre play of late, Tiger’s competitors know not to count him out this week.“Anytime Tiger is in the field, you know you are going to have to be on top of your game to win,” said 2009 U.S. Open champion Lucas Glover.For many, after playing just nine competitive rounds all season, simply making the cut would be a victory in and of itself, but for Tiger Woods nothing is out of the realm of possibilities. “I never like to assume what he can and can’t do because he proves us all wrong all the time,” said Aussie golfer Adam Scott. Woods will take to the course at 12:44 p.m. today to begin his first round of play alongside Steve Stricker and Jason Bohn.
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