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Tiger, Lurking in the Middle of the Night
November 4, 2010  | By Gerald Jordan
 
Tiger-Woods-with-rivals0.jpg

Tiger-Woods-tiny.jpgThis is a grab straight from Mel Brooks' Spaceballs. Set your clocks for "ridiculous" time and get ready to watch Tiger Woods take one last swipe at dragging his season from the wreckage of 2010. His chance for redemption starts at midnight ET Thursday and extends to 4 a.m. Friday on The Golf Channel for round one of The World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions tournament...

Nearly a year precisely since his ill-fated driveway crash that snagged the yarn which eventually exposed his marital infidelities and led to his divorce, Tiger will tee up his Nike ball at precisely O-dark-hundred over the next four days to see if he can avert a shutout on the PGA Tour this season. He's had a few good rounds, which always are good for the easy to say, in golf-decibel tones, "Tiger's back," or "Tiger's lurking," but not enough successive good rounds to win at any time this season.

The TV guys like to call the PGA Championship, which is the final major of the season, "glory's last shot." The gathering this week in Shanghai is Tiger's last shot for the season.

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"I come to the event to win the event," Woods said at a news conference that was posted on PGA Tour.com. "I haven't won an event in about a year. I've gone through periods like this before in the past."

It's a gimme putt to say that Tiger Woods has never in his life gone through a year like the one he's about to conclude. And there are so many firsts and nevers involved that keeping an eye on the Tiger should be an easy call for real golf fans.

This schedule -- midnight ET Thursday until 4 a.m. Friday, and repeating that schedule Friday before a more civilized 11 p.m. ET until 3 a.m. run overnight Saturday, and 7 a.m. ET until 4 p.m. Sunday -- is guaranteed to separate the serious from the casual. Those times are Eastern Daylight, which gives way to Standard Time (fall back and enjoy the hour) at 2 a.m. Sunday.

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The biggest first is that this is the first time in 281 weeks that Tiger is not ranked No. 1 in the world. Despite a season that is lackluster by most pro golf standards and disastrous by Tiger Woods standards, he lost the top ranking to Lee Westwood (seen at right with Woods in photo) just this week.

And because Tiger's run at the top was just one week short of 12 years total in his career, most TV audiences don't know anything more than it's another golf tournament and Tiger Woods is the World's No. 1.

Yikes!

Tiger has never finished the season without a tour victory. That dates to his start on the PGA Tour in 1996.

Oh, and the other never... Tiger has never won The World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions tournament. He'll get a chance to cure all ills when the tournament starts Thursday at Sheshan International.

Yup. This is a PGA-recognized event and it is reserved for the true fans, those conditioned by the crack-of-dawn broadcast times from the British Open. It's also reserved for the insomniacs and the early holiday shoppers who tune in looking to buy the very latest in clubs guaranteed to take four strokes off your score. The denizens of overnight TV will know what I mean.

Fix yourself a Red Bull-laced, 5-hour Energy cocktail spiked with enough caffeine to make you play 18 holes after watching the overnight tournament.

Get ready to watch the Tiger Woods resurrection.

 
 
 
 
 
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