Vintage Tiger returns at The Open

Tiger Woods gave us everything we could have asked for on Sunday at Carnoustie in the Open Championship. Woods came from four back to take sole possession of the lead heading into his back nine. While he messed up with a double-bogey on the 11th and a bogey on the 12th and finished three strokes behind eventual winner Francesco Molinari, he proved that “Vintage Tiger” still exists.

One of, if not the best, moments came on the par-4 10th hole. Woods found a fairway pot bunker off the tee. Knowing that he needed to save par, he did what the Old Tiger would have done. Woods went for it.

He swung with everything he had, he recoiled like he has after spectacular shots in the past, and he stared the ball down as it bounced towards the green.

It was one of the more beautiful moments of his career. Why of his career? Because prior to this tournament, Woods hasn’t held the lead in a major championship since the 2011 Masters. He hasn’t won a major since the 2008 U.S. Open. This Tiger Woods is a different Tiger Woods than the guy who destroyed the field for years.

That was all we needed. It was all we could have ever hoped to see again from the 14-time major champion.

Another beautiful moment came on the par-5 6th hole when Woods piped a 3-wood from 304 to just off the front of the green. This shot, into the wind, set up his second birdie of the day and after he hit it he gave chase like we’ve seen him do so many times before.

Tiger Woods is not done with golf. With his T6 at The Open, he climbed to 50th in the world rankings and earned a spot in the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone, a place he’s won 8 times before and given us plenty of memorable shots like the “shot in the dark.”

He’s not done with major championships. He will win again and he will do it soon.