Woods Braces for Return to Pebble Beach

Tiger Woods will be returning next week to a course he thoroughly dominated ten years ago that everyone else was reduced to spectators. However, when he tees off with Ernie Els and Lee Westwood at Pebble Beach on Thursday, Woods will be doing so as a shell of the player who won the 2000 U.S. Open by a record 15 shots.

Woods will be coming into the U.S. Open winless in majors over the past two years. He has struggled mightily in the four tournaments he joined this year–going winless in that stretch with one missed cut. His best finish since returning from a self-imposed hiatus following admission to marital infidelity was fourth place at the Masters. He finished 19th at the Memorial last week.

However, Woods doesn’t seem to be bothered by his slump, or if he is, he is doing a good job of hiding it. “You’ve got to go back and take it step by step. It’s a process,” Woods said after he failed to defend his Memorial title.

As Thursday approaches, though, the question on everyone’s mind is this: Will Woods start his redemption on the course that he once dominated, or will the end of the Tiger-era begin at the fabled Pebble Beach?