For the second year in a row, Tiger Woods, the #1 golfer in the world, has failed to win a major championship….leaving him 4 short of tying Jack Nicklaus’ record of 18 majors! This year was to have been Tiger’s opportunity to chisel away at his personal goal. The first three (3) championships were on courses that he loves and has had considerable success: Augusta National, Pebble Beach GC, and St. Andrews GC in Scotland. It would have been normal to expect Tiger to win on, at least, two of those venues. It didn’t happen! And, Tiger’s game is in such disarray, it is hard to imagine that he will ever re-gain his dominance in the game. His intimidation factor is gone! He is now just trying to make the cut! An almost unbelievable fall from the pinnacle of his game!
As examples, last week he played his worst ever at the Firestone CC and finished next to last in the Bridgestone Championship….an event he has dominated in recent years. Sunday, he finished 9 strokes behind the eventual winner, Martin Kaymer, in the PGA championship. To add insult to injury, Phil Mickelson beat Tiger by 6 shots in the final round and Mr. Woods barely held on to his #1 world ranking away. Tiger’s play was abysmal…..hitting less that 40% of the fairways and looking like a man lost in the wilderness.
Yesterday, Tiger tried to put a positive spin on his dilemma by saying he was close to getting his game back. He has been listening to a potential new coach from Orlando, but, Foley was no help this week. His swing is fundamentally flawed….and has been for years! He got away with poor driving by being the best putter in the game for the past ten years. Now that he seems to have lost his focus, his once-reliable putter has deserted him, too!
As an aside, Kaymer’s victory was marred by the unfortunate 2 stroke penalty assessed against Dustin Johnson. Johnson had a chance to win the US Open, but played miserably in the final round. His inattention to the rules cost him a chance to participate in the playoff between Kaymer and Bubba Watson.
Where does Tiger go from here? Back to the drawing board. He has shown signs of his old brilliance with his scrambling ability; but, no one can win major championships without being able to hit fairways consistently. Let’s hope he can find some form in the first FedEx Cup tournament; otherwise he won’t qualify for the second tournament of the series.
A sad year for the world’s #1! Tiger haters are rejoicing in his fall from grace. Personally, I think the game needs him playing at a high level; and I hope he get his mojo back! We’ll see!