For the third tournament in a row, the man who used to be on top of the golf word, Tiger Woods, has stumbled down the leaderboard during the final rounds of a tournament. In December, he led his own tournament, sponsored by Chevron, in the final round only to collapse, handing the $1,000,000 to McDowell! His next appearance was at Torrey Pines in San Diego where he has basically owned the place in the past. The whole tournament was a disappointment for Woods. Maybe bad things just come in threes….in his last most recent tournament in Dubai, Tiger finished 7 shots behind the winner after starting the final day only 1 shot out of the lead!
For sure, Tiger has lost his “intimidation factor” on tour; in fact, he is becoming so ordinary that a rookie stated he thought Tiger didn’t really try in the final round at Torrey Pines. He still attracts a huge gallery of fans hoping for the old magic to return….but it has not happened. Tiger has been winless, around the world, since Thanksgiving 2009 when his personal life crashed around him. He is no longer the highest paid athlete in the world, endorsement contracts have been cancelled, and Nike is his only real source of income.
His divorce cost a large portion of his fortune. He still owns a house in Orlando, a place in NY, and his new $40 million estate in South Florida….not to mention the yacht and his private jet. With those kind of expenses, even Tiger’s fortune will dwindle if he cannot re-start his golf game and gain back some new sponsors.
Furthermore, Tiger’s statements to the press sound like Michele Wie when she plays badly. “Making swing changes is hard to do!” “I’m encouraged (even though I shot 75)!” “It is coming around!” “I hit it well but didn’t get any breaks!” “Missed a lot of putts!” “It was a learning experience!” And Tiger’s constant fallback, “It’s all part of the process!” These statements are evidence of frustration and an unwillingness to face the truth that his game is in the toilet compared to 5 years ago!
Much has been made of Tiger’s run at the record of 18 major championships held by Jack Nicklaus. A couple of years ago, it seemed a certainty that he would exceed Jack’s record and maybe even win 20 or more. Now it is becoming doubtful that Tiger will ever win another.
There are many former fans who relish in his poor play….payback for the squeaky clean image he falsely portrayed before the Cadillac hit the tree! Others want him to redeem himself and be another “Rocky” comeback story. What I don’t want for Tiger is for his gallery to show up just to watch a train wreck…like the fans who show up to watch John Daly. Daly was on the top of his game before excesses in women, gambling, and drinking turned him into a pathetic example of wasted talent.
Maybe Tiger can get it all back; but, his mojo is definitely gone for now. And, a new swing coach cannot mend a broken spirit! Come on, Tiger, some of us are rooting for you!