Rose Confident Woods Can ‘Push The Needle’ Further In New Year.

Nassau, Bahamas …

Close friend Justin Rose is confident Tiger Woods can push the needle further and make a successful return to full-time PGA Tour competition probably later next month in California.

Woods is likely to commence his 2018 season in the January 25th starting Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines near San Diego.

This is after Woods delivered a strongest statement in well over two years he is fit to take his place on golf’s most lurcative stage in sharing ninth place at the Hero World Challenge.

Woods regrouped brilliantly from the hiccup of a third round 75 to snatch an eagle and six birdies in a closing day 68 in the Bahamas.

Justin Rose and Tiger Woods 2017 Hero World Challenge

One of first Rose met after his own round of 70 to share fifth place was Woods and with duo wrapping their arms around each other.

“Thanks for coming,” said Woods.

And Rose, who really just lives at the end of Ernie’s Way and the road leading to the Albany course, was full of praise for the new World No. 668th ranked Woods.

“I could not imagine after not playing in some 10 months to have to chip around a golf course like this and finish inside the top-10, so I think Tiger has done very well and can rightfully be very proud,” said Rose.

“The greens were tough to read and tough to putt on while it was windy over the four days, so it could not have been a trickier test for him to return to competition after such a long break.

“The Hero also was probably one of the highest TV watched golf events all year so that also speaks volumes in the interest we all have for Tiger.

“I have an Instagram account and if I post a picture I would get around 10,000 hits while I took a picture of Tiger and myself earlier in the week and I received over 30,000 and that is the impact he has.

“I’ve said before Tiger moves the needle and I can only see that continuing to take place when he does return and wherever that may be, I am sure the interest is again going to be enormous.”

And Woods caddy, Joe LaCava fully endorsed Woods’ own remarks believing also the 14-time Major winner is now strong enough to tackle head-on golf’s newer generation of stars.

“There was lots of positives. He drove it very well, got his speed back, was hitting the ball for the most part where he was looking, was hitting it both ways, just in control got better each day.  And he’s hitting it out with the young boys,” said LaCava.

“And if you ask me if he can win in 2018, of course he can.

“That’s coming also more from a health standpoint while he also has the equipment dialled-in.

“You are always expecting good things with Tiger, and I had a little advantage seeing him twice in the last month, so I knew it was getting better and getting closer.

“Though I have to say that I didn’t think it was going to be quite as good as it is at the moment.

“There was optimism last year because of the 24 birdies, but I think we all knew he wasn’t quite as healthy as he is now. And obviously it was a different surgery. He definitely feels better so we’re definitely more optimistic going in.”

“The great thing also Tiger is driving the ball 315-yardish off the tee which makes life easier.”

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