Will McIlroy and Woods recover their former greatness?

  • Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods set for acquire return to movement after injury 
  • McIlroy insists he’s ‘fit and healthy’ after 4 months out with a rib injury 
  • Woods, 46, must try and get 4 events under his belt before the Masters 

Derek Lawrenson for The Mail on Sunday

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So much for Jan being a still month for golf. What’s about to occur over the next 10 days will squeeze everyone’s courtesy as the competition finally, mercifully, welcomes the return of its X-Men.

First up in Abu Dhabi on Thursday is Rory McIlroy, now insisting he’s ‘fit and healthy’ after 4 months out with a rib damage and the explanation he has ‘a slight heartbeat irregularity, a prosaic or inverted T wave.’

A week later, he will be followed by Tiger Woods in San Diego, competing on the PGA Tour for the first time in 12 months. Despite the apparent fad at having them back, both men start with copiousness wondering if their excellence years are now behind them. Is the craving still there in a diversion where 4 of the world’s top 5 are now 25 or younger? 

Here, Sportsmail asks the impending questions, and assesses either this will infer the year of the comeback: 

Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods are set to make a acquire return to movement after injury

Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods are set to make a acquire return to movement after injury

Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods are set to make a acquire return to movement after injury

What can we design first up?

Tiger: Forget his finishing position next week, or at the Genesis Open in Los Angeles next month. If he gets to the finish of those two events overhanging as good as he did in an muster eventuality in the Bahamas last month and says he’s prepared to play in the Honda Classic and Arnold Palmer Invitational in Florida in March, that will suffice. If Tiger can get 4 events under his belt before the Masters, then courtesy can spin to how he is doing.

Rory: A totally opposite round game. McIlroy intends to come out all guns blazing. He’s fed up of reading about all the streamer Americans who stole his thunder. Now ranked outward the world’s top 10, he’s personification no fewer than eight events before Augusta and will wish two wins under his belt before he gets there. At slightest 4 of the tournaments are being staged on courses he loves, so it’s positively on. 

Is the enterprise still there?

Tiger: Are you kidding? Do you consider he’d go by all the pain and the rehab just to take on  Charles Howell for 40th place every week? Whether he gets back to the top is another matter, but never doubt his hunger. The day that goes really is the one where he walks away.

Rory: It’s only healthy people should lift the matter concerning a 28-year-old who’s found complacency and gratification off the march and has hundreds of millions in the bank. And the only way he can really yield an answer is by going out and recapturing his best form. My tummy feeling is that by the summer, we won’t be conference such questions any more.

Former universe No 1 McIlroy insists he’s 'fit and healthy’ after 4 months out with a rib injury

Former universe No 1 McIlroy insists he’s 'fit and healthy’ after 4 months out with a rib injury

Former universe No 1 McIlroy insists he’s ‘fit and healthy’ after 4 months out with a rib injury

What’s he got going for him?

Tiger: We need some-more evidence, of course, but it does demeanour as if his fourth back operation in 18 months is the one that is going to concede him to play again, and with a certain grade of freedom. The speed and energy in his representation that he needs in sequence to contest seem to be back.

Rory: Everything, in a word. He’s still young, he’s now healthy, and like all the good sportsmen he’s always at his best when he feels like he has something to prove.  

What’s against?

Tiger: Where do you start? He’s 42, and has spent much of the last two years fibbing prosaic on his back. Currently ranked outward the world’s top 600, the diversion has changed on but him. Rory: When last seen, his crowd play wasn’t worth a damn and his putting was crash average. They’re not the easiest  ills to cure.

The 46-year-old Woods must try and get 4 events under his belt before the Masters

The 46-year-old Woods must try and get 4 events under his belt before the Masters

The 46-year-old Woods must try and get 4 events under his belt before the Masters

Can he still win majors?

Tiger: It’s positively asking an awful lot, 10 years after his last feat and 4 years given he was a contender of any kind, to supplement to his transport of 14. Let’s put it this way: if it was anyone else you wouldn’t give them a snowball’s possibility in hell. But if he keeps his health, and can put in the required hours of practice, we could see him winning the Masters again, just as Jack Nicklaus did when everybody was essay him off at the age of 46.

Rory: No question. No one wins 4 by the age of 24 and is cleared up totally by the age of 28. But this is a outrageous year for McIlroy. Four years but a major means the vigour is positively building and the customary is now undoubtedly aloft than given his last victory. On the other side of the coin, if he ends the mini-drought and completes the career grand impact at the Masters, you could see him reaching double digits before he’s through. 

Will he appear in the Ryder Cup?

Tiger: If he’s still fit and healthy come Aug and showing any arrange of form, he will be a captain’s pick.

Rory: Are Manchester City going to win the Premier League? Only nonetheless another damage would forestall Rory competing for Europe in Paris after this year.  

 

 

 


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