Tiger Woods on Wednesday announced when he plans to return to competitive golf, and NBC analyst Johnny Miller said he thinks Woods’s second part of his career will be a special one.
“Forty is pretty young,” Miller said. “His body is not worn out. He’s had his humps and bumps. If he’s going to come back and play some kind of a schedule, you cannot count Tiger Woods out. Talent always comes to the surface if you give it a chance.
“I really pick him to win six or eight more tournaments in his second career, at least.”
Woods, who turns 41 in December, ended months of speculation when he announced he’ll return to the Tour at the Safeway Open, the 2016-17 season-opener slated for Oct. 13-16 at Silverado Resort and Spa in Napa, California.
“Silverado is the perfect course for him cause it’s so straightforward,” Miller said. “There’s nothing funky about it, (out of bounds is) not in play, and there’s only a couple of water hazards that you sort of have to think about. It’s a very straightforward course. A lot like Torrey Pines.
“His iron game has been great — there’s nothing wrong with his iron game,” Miller continued. “Obviously he is a great putter and phenomenal competitor. If he can just get the ball in play even if he has to hit stingers out there … If I was caddying for him I would tell him to let his irons do the work for you and the short game.”
Woods last played at the Wyndham Championship, where he held the 36-hole lead and finished T10. He also battled the dreaded chipping yips during his inconsistent 2015, but Miller believes Woods is over that hurdle.
“He wouldn’t be committing for three tournaments if he didn’t have all that behind him,” he said.
Phil Mickelson announced in June that he plans to play Safeway Open. It promises to be an intriguing opener to the new season.
“Everybody is pulling for (Tiger) and it’s going to be quite an amazing thing to have him come back from this long layoff,” Miller said. “We better have some extra room for all these people who are going to show up.”