Monday, March 14, 2011

Tiger Woods is Making Progress, According to Tiger Woods

On Sunday at Doral, Tiger Woods went out and played his most impressive round of 2011, a 6-under 66 that included just one bogey and was highlighted by birdies on 16 and 17 to jump him in the top-10 for the first time this season.

It was the lowest round of the day, tying Rickie Fowler, and got people murmuring about Woods. But should they be? According to Tiger Woods, they should.

"You know, it's just one of those things where I felt that as the week progressed this week, I felt like I hit a lot of good shots but then I would get sidetracked there for a little bit, and didn't really know what the fix was a couple of times.

Today, I hit a lot of good golf shots and when I did miss-hit one, I knew what the fix was right away, boom and I got right back on my run of hitting good shots again. That feels good ... It's definitely getting better, there's no doubt. I'm putting the pieces together."

I guess you have to agree with Woods to some extent here. He hasn't had anything positive to build on all season, and a final round like this could give him some much needed confidence heading into a tough stretch of schedule, with Woods expected to play at Bay Hill next week and then the Masters two weeks later, with a short stint at the Tavistock Cup sprinkled in this week (he shot 8-under today with Arjun Atwal in whatever format they play at this made-for-TV-and-helicopters event).

You can't say one round has a man back, and I don't think he will be back until he wins, but it's something to build on, and that's all we've wanted from Woods the last year.

Getty Images


Anonymous said...

I heartily concur. One round does not a comeback make. Tiger, if you'll recall, carded an 11 under par at last year's Masters after playing NO competitive golf at all in the five months leading up to that tournament. I was frankly shocked that he did that well after such a prolonged layoff--especially since it was a Major. But then the(inevitable?)hiccups set in and we began seeing the peaks and valleys(mostly the latter)of performance in the lion's share of the tournaments Tiger entered thereafter-prompting a nationwide avalanche of "He's all washed up and will never be the same again" predictions from fans and detractors alike. Here and there we saw a six under par (second round of last year's US Open) and a seven under par in the opening round of the Chevron at the Sherwood Country Club. But then he'd suddenly forget how to putt, or he'd lose control of his irons, or he'd start having bilateral misfires off the tee. Not that any of the foregoing was new.It's just that in the past, Eldrick would always manage to get up and down anyway--especially in situations when he had a critical par save or a pressure birdie to make. But nowadays that just hasn't happened. Instead of his usual charge up the leader board on Saturdays he'd just blunder his way out of contention and disappear meekly like some anonymous nobody who was playing pro golf for the first time.

So did his most recent six under par score at the Blue Monster really mean anything? Well, yes and no. Considering the difficulty of the venue (and looking at the names of good players he bested this past weekend--Retief Goosen, Lee Westwood, Steve Stricker, Jim Furyk, Ernie Els, Vijay Singh, Rory McIlroy and Phil Mickelson who he absolutely TUNED)we could say that his eight under final score was pretty good.
But until Tiger strings three rounds together in the 60's and then actually seals the deal (unlike the bewildering implosion he served up at his own tournament late last year), the best we can say about his comeback is that he seems to be trending in the right direction. Sooner or later, though, that just won't be enough...

Clifford Burton
Santa Monica, California

Anonymous said...

He's not making progress in the spitting and farting departments. He should be banned for life as a classless toad.

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