Only a Matter of Time for Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods fell short yet again.

Another rather atrocious Sunday at a major championship leaves Tiger stuck on 14 majors. He’s still 4 away from Jack but one has to wonder if he will ever win another major. He hasn’t been able to put together 4 solid, consecutive rounds in a major since his return from rock bottom. At this point, Tiger is about as dominant as Adam Scott is. In other words, that’s not very good.

However, the golfer formerly known as Eldrick is far from done.

It’s no secret that Woods is putting his game back together. Aside from his missed cut at the Greenbrier, Tiger has been in contention in most every tournament he has played in recently. He has won 3 tournaments this year. He came back from his disappointing Masters in April with strong major performances at the U.S. and British Open.

More importantly though, he seems to have accepted the fact that he isn’t the Tiger Woods of old. In stark contrast to his noticeable anger following the 2010 Masters, Woods could be seen smiling after his disappointing final round yesterday. He undoubtedly wasn’t content with his play on the course Sunday but Tiger gave the impression that he could take solace in a relatively good overall performance.

Despite being behind numerous strokes on Sunday, Tiger stubbornly and illogically refused to pull the driver out of his bag, only to use it when it was too late. Call it a lack of confidence, call it a refusal to stray from his game plan, call it whatever you want. The way I see it, the new, older, Tiger Woods understands that he can’t simply go out and play so freely the way he used to.

The Tiger Woods of 2 years ago wouldn’t have been able to comprehend that.

Like everyone else, he realizes that at age 36 he can’t dominate the field in the manner that he used to. His ego has been healed enough to the point where he can finally come to terms with his inability to be prime time Tiger. Other than his Spock evil twin-like goatee, Tiger Woods once again looks to be happier. He is enjoying the game of golf.

It won’t be too long before Tiger Woods wins his 15th major. This Tiger’s head is finally getting screwed on straight. He is contending at Majors. The pieces of his shattered ego are slowly being put back together, each and every week. It’s all steps in the right direction.

Forget the Tiger Woods of yesteryear. He is long gone and isn’t coming back.

Expectations of Tiger have to be lowered. Immediate gratification be damned. The major will come. He is getting closer.

18 total majors. Well, that’s another story. It is ridiculous to guarantee Tiger Woods 18 majors as of this moment but it would be just as ridiculous to write him off completely. He hasn’t won a major in 2012 but it has been a solid comeback season.

The magnitude of his epic collapse was a 9.0 on the Richter scale. As we have seen, that isn’t something that gets fixed overnight. It’s a process. Tiger Woods is still in the middle of that process. He is no longer clearing the rubble of his damaged self but is on to building the foundation to a new person, a new Tiger.

A 73 to put him out of contention on Sunday at the British Open shouldn’t tell you that Tiger doesn’t have it in him anymore to win major championships. It should tell you that he played 3 more good rounds at a big tournament. It should tell you that the consistency is coming back. It should tell you that he’s close to regaining the title of major champion. A title that he so desperately covets.

At 42 years old, Ernie Els won his 4th major. There is no rush for Tiger. He has plenty of time left to win a few more majors, let alone 1. He is too good. He is due.

If Tiger doesn’t win at the PGA Championship in August then he will be closing in on 5 years since winning his last major by the time the Masters rolls around next year.

Don’t fret though, because it’s only a matter of time.

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8 Responses to Only a Matter of Time for Tiger Woods

  1. Chris, nice post enjoyed reading it and agree with the bulk of your points, as you may have read on my comments following my Open Championship Review, I do think Tiger is still a work in progress and if you look at Foley’s success stories, Mahan, Rose & O’Hair, they all have the driver as a key part of their game, this is something I firmly believe Tiger and Sean are working towards, and I do think until they get there it will be hard for Tiger to win a major.

    I think time is closing in a touch on him as well, if he rocks up at Augusta in April and is still shunning his driver then or using it to bad effect that will be the time to seriously question if Tiger can get back on the Major winning trail.

  2. tophatal says:

    Chris

    Adam Scott proved that “belly putters” are for old men . His game went to hell over the final four holes at Lytham St Anne’s . Somewhat reminiscent of Van der Velde’s meltdown several years back in The Open as well .

    The British Open is by far the hardest of the four Major slams to win , as it requires not just a skill-set but mental attitude as well . Neither were exhibited by Adam Scott in the final round .

  3. kevinbolger says:

    Interesting. Certainly he was off form on sunday but as you said, he’s showing far more consistency. Hence why he’s back in the top 5. I think he will win more majors, but it will take more time. He played some fantastic technical golf on thursday and his chip on the 18th on saturday was not so bad either. It’s like they say, form comes and goes but class will never leave you. Woods has class, and what’s more is most golfers would be happy if they were starting to win Majors at his age. He is still very young in golfing years.

  4. Great piece Chris. Woods will definitely never get back to where he was, firstly because of the obvious and secondly because the competition is much more capable than what it was when he was in his prime and winning majors left right and centre. Technology and more professional training are reducing the gap between the winners and the losers in the game of golf.

  5. Friggin Loon says:

    You also have to remember Tiger has changed his swing completely after parting ways with Hank Haney. He now works with swing coach Sean Foley. Part of Tiger’s problem is that over the years he has developed serious problems due to his unorthodoxed swing. He simply couldn’t continue playing without making radical changes. I noticed several times Tiger pulled up due to that niggling knee injury. I think you are right Chris, it is only a matter of time.

    http://sports.yahoo.com/news/tiger-woods-swing-coach-sean-foley-calls-media-004200430–golf.html

  6. caloyolano says:

    Tiger is always dangerous especially in majors. His form has been good recently and he has shown that he can contend in every tournament that he is in. 18 is certainly reachable.

  7. Loved the article. Good opinion supported by facts, and strong depth in your insight. Keep up the good work and thanks for your comment on our latest podcast. You would make a great guest on the “I Totally Agree” podcast!

  8. Opposing schools of thought on this one, CR.

    One is, he finished third in the Open, and still most of us are asking what’s wrong with him, when he actually played a fine tournament.

    The other is, if other players, like Ernie Els, are using driver on that course, then why can’t Tiger?

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