Thursday, April 7, 2011

Tiger Woods Has a Very Tiger Woods Opening Round

During the Yahoo! live chat we have going, a reader asked, as they normally do, what the deal was with Tiger Woods? Was it his driving? His putting? His overall game? Why was he struggling yet again in a big round?

My answer was simple - "He doesn't seem to be making a lot of putts that he needs to make. He's hitting the ball good, but not great. Landing his irons close, but not close enough. The putts are almost there, but not quite in." Basically, Thursday's round by Tiger Woods was the Tiger we're used to seeing now. Call him the Almost version of Woods. The Just About There Tiger.

It's just funny why the question is always "What's wrong with Tiger" when he goes out and posts a one-under 71. Sure, on a day that was perfect for scoring, a 71 isn't exactly what you want, but it isn't terrible. Popular pick Dustin Johnson shot a 74 during the best part of the day, and nobody talked about it. World number one Martin Kaymer blew up, shooting 78 and basically erasing any chance of competing at this major.

But with Tiger, it's always "What's wrong," and maybe it should be. His expectations were made by him, and now people await his return. I don't see it happening anytime soon, and the reason is simply what I said above. He's sharp but not crisp. He's good but not great. He's close but not quite there.

It's really, really hard to finish in the top-10 at a major championship, and if Tiger continues his play from the first round, he will probably land somewhere in there. But he isn't winning this Masters unless something drastic happens, and that's just the way it is right now.

Tiger is just Tiger, which is the opposite of what it used to mean.

Getty Images

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