By Larry GLicken

Twigs. Yeah, that’s what Tiger Woods may as well be swinging these days. Better yet a mop or a broom. His results under pressure in big tournaments could hardly be worse or more underwhelming if he did. After announcing that he was feeling confident in a press conference which took place the day before the first round of the final leg of the Tour Championships at East Lake this week, I cringed.

A real tiger doesn’t need to inform anyone that he’s feeling confident—least of all his prey. Everyone just KNOWS. But this is a different Tiger—the Post 2009 Tiger who typically has one good round which fools many into thinking that the “old” Tiger is perhaps back followed by two mediocre rounds and a stinker that takes him out of contention on weekends.

Let’s face it. Over the course of his career this guy has spoiled everybody with clutch performances that reminded us of no one else—and he used to do it frequently.

But this impostor who walks, talks and looks like Tiger Woods has quite clearly morphed into something else—just another good golfer—of which there are many on the tour as it is. He’s no longer special—doesn’t provide many “WOW, did you see THAT??!” moments anymore, and just sort of “taps and prays” his way through high pressure putts that he used to make blind folded.

Whenever he looks like he’s poised to make a run and climb up the leader board, instead there’ll be a wayward drive, or a loose iron shot, or a sloppy wedge, or he’ll miss a five foot gimme. Nowadays you can almost set your watch by it. Worse still, at times Tiger struggles to stay above par (like he did on the second leg of the Tour championship three weeks ago) on courses that he not only used to destroy—but venues which proved practically defenseless against other golfers I’d never even heard of before and probably won’t hear from (or about) again.

This was only half the story continue reading……

 

I know it’s a strange thing to say about someone who’s won five times so far this year and who’s had decent finishes in a handful of other tournaments, but Tiger (compared to what he once was)  looks downright pathetic.

And it’s not as if he didn’t have left-right misses (and a LOT of them) off the tee prior to 2009. He certainly did. But THAT Tiger still managed to get up and down for back breaking (to his peers) birdies or momentum saving pars. In fact, Sir Nick Faldo on several occasions remarked that “Tiger gets away with MURDER…”

Yes, Nick….THAT Tiger used to get away with murder all of the time… grand larceny, even….And when he was hitting the ball straight off the tee, no one had a prayer of beating him. But now, with his head up his hind end whenever the pressure looms, he presses, he chokes, and then he just disappears. Boom, boom, BOOOOOM. It’s almost a crying shame that THIS Tiger Woods can be described as no more than a “good” golfer—a characterization I never dreamed anyone would use on him before he reached age 45… But some days he’s even worse than that—he’s ordinary—no longer special enough to pry me away from other pursuits that might claim my attention on a Sunday–or any other–afternoon…

 

Pity,

Clifford

Santa Monica

Filed under: PGA Tour Golf

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