This time, in his first tournament of the year, he fired 73 in the first round, then followed with a career-worst 82 (including a 44 on the front 9).
He was dead last.
I’ve long said that I believed Tiger could still win the big tournaments. He is not what he once was physically, but he’s still pretty fit. His short game has become erratic, and his driving distance has fallen considerably, putting more pressure on his short game.
Par 5s used to be potential eagle holes for him, as his driving distance and accuracy would give him a fair shot at hitting the greens in 2 shots. His short game was once very solid, and this augmented his long game. Course designers sought to “Tiger proof” their courses.
But those days are gone now. He’s declining physically, and his opponents no longer fear him. Since the fracas that exposed his scandals, he has lost his edge mentally. While he has shown some flashes of potential, he has been unable to clear the key hurdles to put four solid rounds together in a Major.
At 39, he’s still comparatively young. But he’s not getting any younger. Physically, his best days are behind him, and he must learn to play the game in ways to which he is not accustomed.
Whereas he was once considered a shoo-in to destroy Jack Nicklaus’ record for Major championships, the Golden Bear appears to now be quite secure.
Father Time can be quite the Mother indeed.