Ever since Tiger Woods raised the US Open trophy at Torrey Pines in 2008, winning #14, he has been waiting for number 15 on the major count. On that night back in November of 2009, when Woods crashed his car into a fire hydrant attempting to get away from his wife, whom he had been cheating on, Tiger Woods has not been the same man or golfer. Up to that point, Woods was far and away the best golfer in the world. Everyone thought he would break Jack Nicklaus’ record of 18 majors. After the scandal, Tiger Woods has lost that killer instinct.
Tiger Woods can no longer putt on the weekends at majors, which has cost him a shot at the title multiple times. Tiger has been conservative, saying that he has been close, and is getting there, which is something the old Tiger would never say. The old Tiger would only be content with victory. It seems to me he is starting to accept the fact that he is well past his prime; therefore, willing to accept some top 10 finishes at majors. If Tiger is to ever win another major, he needs to become more consistent on weekends. For example, after two rounds at the Open Championship last weekend, Woods was tied for second at -2, 1 stroke back of Miguel Angel Jimenez. Jimenez came out and shot a 77, putting himself out of championship contention. Then, Tiger came out and shot a 72, instead of grabbing the lead, dropped back a stroke and watched Lee Westwood shoot a 70, going up 2 on Woods. Not only that, but Woods had a chance to go up 2 strokes, but missed a birdie on 16, and bogeyed 17 to conclude the third round. Meanwhile, Westwood had a great putt for bogey on 16, and birdied 17. The following day, Woods struggled mightily to make putts, leading to a 74, including 6 bogeys. Woods plays the first two days well at majors, even putting well; however, when the weekend arrives, Tiger has lost the killer instinct to hit fairways, greens, and sink putts.
I think Tiger will eventually break through and win another major. He is still the best golfer in the world. I predict that Tiger Woods will win another Masters title next year, opening up the floodgates; additionally, taking all of the pressure off of him. Tiger will eventually break Jack’s record; nevertheless, it may be awhile. As for now, the waiting continues.
– Anthony Dabbundo
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