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The Ruler's back

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Anyone watching the 2008 British Open, won by Padraig Harrington with a 3-over, had to be wondering (as were some of the commentators): By how many strokes would Tiger Woods have won this tournament? Then when Harrington turned around a month later and one the PGA Championship as one of only two subpar performers, you had to wonder what Tiger Woods was thinking watching the tournament from home.

Well next week we can stop wondering, as Tiger Woods returns to golf and the giant asterisk that has been hanging over the Tour since his miraculous U.S. Open playoff win last June. Once again, when someone wins a Major Championship this year they will have actually beaten the best golfers in the world. How effective will Woods be? Between the reconstructed knee and thinking about his newborn, maybe not so great. But at least the Major champions this year can say they won when the greatest golfer of their time was on his couch.