It may be because he's back from a recent surgery and a long break, but Tiger Woods was left confused by something in the golf world on Tuesday. That's a true rarity, as the 15-time major winner has seen and done almost everything there is in this sport.
When he returned to action at Liberty National to take some swings, it was the first time he'd been seen on a golf course since the Masters. Maybe there was rust, but he was struggling to grasp how Rickie Fowler could use the equipment he had. He said (via Golf Magic):
"How do you take the putter back? I can't get the head to move."
Fowler shrugged it off and said he didn't think about it, he just did it. He added that strong shoulder muscles make it easier. Woods replied:
"So where are your feet? What takes the clubhead back? I can't move it."
During the whole exchange, the iconic golfer was left puzzled by his companion's equipment and how difficult it was to manoeuvre. It's not often that someone asks 'Are there any questions?' and it's Tiger Woods who is the most confused.
Rory McIlroy recently admitted that Woods is a "golf nerd" who watches and studies his counterparts all the time.
"Just some different shots around the greens. He’s the biggest golf nerd I have ever come across. I mean, he knows everything about everything, he watched everything. That really comes out when he is describing things to you, even if you’ve got a chip shot and it’s going from right to left slope on the green, he is hitting it with cut spin to take out the slope … I’ve never seen anyone else like that.”
So maybe it's not such a big surprise that Woods, freshly back in action for the first time in months, was eager to learn how Fowler operated. Plus, Fowler had been on an absolute tear of late.
After working with Butch Harmon, the golfer found his stroke and broke his stunning losing streak of over four years. Even Woods can learn something from that.
Tiger Woods returned to action
The legendary golfer underwent surgery back in the spring. Following an unfortunate withdrawal from the 2023 Masters, the 82-time PGA Tour winner had to undergo surgery to repair his ailing body.
Tiger Woods had no set timetable, and many weren't sure if he'd be back and ready to perform at the next Masters, which doesn't happen for another eight months.
As such, no one knew he was going to be back in action on Tuesday. His arrival was a surprise. He's still a long way away from competing as there is a big difference between taking some swings and playing a full, four-round, 18-hole tournament.
The grind was too much for Tiger Woods pre-surgery, but he should be back and healthier again now. Whenever he does return to action in a fuller capacity, he should be in better shape and a better competitor.