Tiger Woods isn’t back, but he is clearing his throat.
A third place over the weekend at the Australian Open — his best finish in two years — suggested, to use the Woods parlance, progress.
The problem is that just as he’s warming up, the season is winding down, depriving Woods of what he needs most: to play.
“People are talking about how he hasn’t won in two years. Well, he hasn’t played that much in two years,” said his new caddie, Joe LaCava.
“I think he just needs to have more rounds under his belt — see putts go in and see good shots.”
Woods won’t have the chance to build momentum because he has only two events left on his 2011 calendar, this week’s Presidents Cup in Melbourne, Australia, and his Chevron Challenge, in Los Angeles, in early December.