He will almost be able to touch them, aware of the lure to action that they represent – as the world's top golfers enter "Tiger country", first for the current Honda Classic at Palm Beach, then for next week's WGC- CA Championship in Miami, Tiger Woods continues preparing his return to combat.
Nobody knows when – the Bay Hill Invitational (25-28 March) in his home town Orlando is possible (no hotels!), especially with the Masters at Augusta just a month away and Jack Nicklaus certain that Woods will play it. As for the next majors – the US Open at Pebble Beach, the Open Championship at St Andrews – both feature courses that Woods cherishes for many previous victories.
In Woods' absence, the 2010 PGA Tour has yielded trophy opportunities to the likes of Ryan Palmer, Ben Crane, Hunter Mahan, Dustin Johnson and WGC Match Play hero Ian Poulter, who finally learnt that actions speak louder than his trousers.
But the CA Championship is won by serious types – Woods has six out of 10 renewals, with Mike Weir, Ernie Els, Geoff Ogilvy and Phil Mickelson one each. And the TPC Blue Monster at Doral is a man's course, long and pitted with water hazards. One of the big names should win – I'll take Mickelson, Camilo Villegas and Padraig Harrington. But they'll all be watching for Tiger to come out of the hurt locker.
*We were right about Manchester City going for a result at Chelsea last weekend, just wrong about the result. And Aston Villa could have done with Wayne Rooney staying on the bench .Reuse content