Speculation of an imminent Tiger Woods return intensified last night after reports that he has summoned his swing coach, Hank Haney, to work with him in Florida.
Woods, who has not played competitively in almost four months, began practising in earnest last week at the Isleworth club close to his home. Haney arrived in Orlando at the weekend and it is understood he will be with Woods for the next few days. The 34-year-old is now long odds-on with the bookmakers to appear at the Tavistock Cup – a two-day exhibition match which begins a week next Monday and takes place at Isleworth – and then later that week at nearby Bay Hill for his "competitive" return.
The PGA Tour deadline for Woods to enter the Arnold Palmer Invitational is a week next Friday. Such a "hasty" reappearance would surprise many, and not just because Woods' "indefinite break" from golf will have amounted to a handful of missed events. In his televised statement two weeks' ago, during which he apologised for his multiple extra-marital affairs, Woods said: "I do plan to return to golf one day. I just don't know when that day will be." The suspicion is he does now.