Originally Posted by Clambake
- Hogan wrote the book on what a true comeback really is
- Ken Green is writing a pretty impressive chapter in that book by coming back from serious injury including amputation of a leg to playing in a number of Champions Tour events
- Olazabel also warrants a chapter, going from barely being able to walk a course to being again being competitive at the highest levels
- Freddy Couples has a pretty good comeback of his own; even though it seems he never left he really was on the verge of quitting the game due to his back problems but somehow was able to reinvigorate his career to not only dominate the Champions Tour for a while but still be very competitive on the regular Tour
- Everyone else is pretty much a footnote
I think it is reasonable to make a distinction between 2 types of legitimate comebacks. The first would be the Hoganesque, where the comeback is from an injury. In this category Hogan is nonpareil. There has never been anything like it, although a case can be made for Harry Vardon, who had to come back from a pretty bad bout with TB that left him with a permanent shake in his hands that made putting exquisitely difficult. And he then came back and won another 3 British Opens and lost a US Open in the famous playoff with Ray and Ouimet and was still universally regarded as the GOAT until Jones came along.. But, as the category is PGA comebacks, Harry is out on a technicality.
The other category of comeback is where a player just lost his game, but not because of severe injury. Stricker and Westwood fall into this category. The ultimate in this category might be if David Duval somehow resurrects his game and wins again and becomes a top golfer again - which seems pretty unlikely. Personally I would put Tiger in this category, as his injuries are not of the same scale and severity as Hogan's or Vardon's.
Personally I wouldn't put Ollie or Couples, in the same injury category as Hogan (and, by courtesy, Vardon) nor would I put Green in because while his injury was horrific, his subsequent play was not in a category with Hogan or Vardon.