2019 PGA Championship Preview: All Eyes Again on Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods Masters 2019
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There is no doubt: Tiger Woods is back.

In what could be called the greatest career comeback of any individual athlete in sports, Woods donned the green jacket — his fifth — at the Masters in April. The struggles in his personal life and the extensive back surgeries he’d undergone left many wondering if he’d ever contend again. His last win at a major was the 2008 U.S. Open, and his pursuit of Jack Nicklaus’ record of 18 major titles was in serious jeopardy. Of course, many made the mistake of judging Woods by mere mortal standards.

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Woods’ Masters win sets the stage for a thrilling PGA Championship, which moves from August to May and becomes the second major tournament of the year. TNT airs the first and second rounds May 16-17. TNT and CBS split coverage of the third and final rounds May 18-19.

Brian Anderson, who hosts TNT’s coverage with analyst Ian Baker-Finch, was as awestruck by Woods’ resurgence as everyone else. “He’s back in a way that I’d never dreamed,” Anderson says. “What a comeback, and to see him do what he did at Augusta National and put himself back on that stage.”

Anderson was working last year’s PGA Championship as Woods climbed the leaderboard on Sunday, eventually finishing runner-up to Brooks Koepka.

“It’s like one of the greatest things I’ve ever experienced calling a sporting event, was to see Tiger and the crowds that were around him when he was making a charge on Sunday,” Anderson says. “That was just fascinating to watch him really not be able to hit a fairway and still keep himself in contention. I thought that was one of the more incredible feats. Not to mention the crowds that were gathering to follow him. That scene at 18 at Bellerive on the final day, I’m never going to forget that. There must have been 25,000 people on that one hole alone, surrounding the entire hole 10 deep.”

Expect a similar scene at the 101st PGA Championship at Bethpage Black in Farmingdale, New York. The Long Island course is the site of Woods’ 2002 U.S. Open win, and its famously enthusiastic spectators will be joined by a large TV audience in watching Woods’ legend continue.

PGA Championship, Thursday & Friday, May 16–17, 1/noon c, TNT; Saturday & Sunday, May 18–19, 11am/10c, TNT; 2/1c, CBS