Tiger Woods said in December at his Hero World Challenge that he doesn't know when he'll be able to even swing a golf club again, much less think about a return to competitive golf.
However, a Twitter account purportedly owned by a secret tour pro raised hopes that Woods will be back in action soon.
The account, @SecretTourPro, shared an image that claimed to be Woods practicing before dawn on the driving range at Bear's Club in Jupiter, Fla.
— ClubUpGolf.com (@ClubUpGolf) December 30, 2015
Turns out the image is not Woods practicing in December 2015. Rather, it's an image of Woods from the 2014 Honda Classic pro-am, when Woods was warming up pre-dawn. Twitter user @AriMarcus59 dug up when the photo was actually taken (via Geoff Shackelford):
— Ari Marcus (@AriMarcus59) January 2, 2016
The person behind the @SecretTourPro account apologized Saturday for purporting the image was current in a since-deleted tweet.
Apologies to everyone, it is clear the image sent to me of Tiger by a reliable source is actually an old image. Once again apologies #Sorry
— Secret Tour Pro (@secrettourpro) January 2, 2016
A couple of things probably should have set off alarm bells if you were properly skeptical, namely the location. Woods has a full practice area on his Jupiter Island property, so he wouldn't need to go to Bear's Club, which is not his home club, Medalist is, before dawn. He could do that at his house.
Whoever is behind @SecretTourPro -- and there are a lot of theories -- has previously gotten golf Twitter and some media in a tizzy on a Tiger Woods tweet. During the Quicken Loans National in July, the account tweeted that Woods, who struggled early in the tournament before a respectable weekend, had fired his teacher Chris Como. Woods was asked about the report in somewhat vague terms, leading Woods to make sure Como appeared with him on the range the very next day.
The person who runs @SecretTourPro clearly knows plenty about the inner workings of professional golf (and is also clearly living with Greenwich Mean Time as his primary time zone), and the person has good information -- much of the time.
The question is if @SecretTourPro is pushing buttons with Tiger tweets.