It's been about six weeks since Tiger Woods finally won again on the PGA Tour, following a two and a half year drought. His game and ball control had people (me included) proclaiming he was back. He isn't.
Yes, Woods is currently ranked number seven in the world golf rankings, but that's still largely based on his past body of work, though his March win at Bay Hill helped. Yes, Tiger can still hit shots that most players only dream about, but those are coming much more rarely than they used to. The fear that Tiger's presence used to instill on opponents is largely gone, and now even some of the most respected analysts are doubting Tiger.
According to Fox Sports' Robert Lusetich, Johnny Miller, Nick Faldo and Brandel Chamblee said that Tiger has a lot of work to do, and possibly one major change to make, if he wants to get back to his old, dominant self.
Chamblee insists that Tiger needs to dump his current swing coach, Sean Foley. But Chamblee thinks Tiger's stubbornness will never let that happen, saying that Tiger would 'rather prove to people that he's right, than be right.'
Sounds about right.
Tiger's ego won't let him go back now because in his mind (where mental toughness is everything) that would show that he made a mistake.
Johnny Miller says he was one of those who thought the win at Bay Hill meant that Woods was basically back, but Tiger's terrible showing at The Masters proved him wrong. 'I think that was a shock to him and it really made him very human,' Miller said, adding, 'he has to rebuild his confidence.'
Tomorrow, Tiger tees of at 8:39 a.m. in a group that includes two young phenoms, HunterMahan and Ricky Fowler, who won for the first time last week at the Wells Fargo Championship. Tiger missed the cut there, for only the eighth time in his career, and the fact that it really wasn't news was the news.
Tiger has won The Players Championship once, back in 2001, and don't count on him winning his second one this year. We'll see if he's even around on the weekend.
Article by Eric Gray