Tiger Woods is in a Slump
Sure, it sounds preposterous. If Tiger Woods has taught us anything, it’s that the man doesn’t slump, he retools. But what I’m talking about is not a slump like the human Tour pros have. A Tiger Slump may well be more easily defined as a month in which his performances decline. That’s about it. Surely, it would surprise no one if he righted the ship and won this week as well as the Masters 2 weeks from now.
Woods began his 2007 season in February with a victory in San Diego at Torrey Pines. It was a continuance of that bogus “PGA Tour only” streak that the media was in love with – an all-time top 10 achievement to be sure, but a bogus streak. Woods followed that with a Ray Charles-ish putting performance at Dubai finishing third behind only Henrik Stenson and Ernie Els, so nobody thought much of it. Then light-hitting Nick O’Hern bounced Woods from the WGC Match Play in the 3rd round as the putter didn’t cooperate again.
Now we have this inexplicable collapse Sunday on the back nine at Bay Hill while Vijay Singh went in the other direction to win. As good as Woods was on the front nine to rocket into contention, he was worse coming down the stretch. His scorecard resembled a straight in a poker hand, which is extremely un-Tiger-like. How interesting that this happens just as Tiger Woods starts to gear up for the first major of the year in a year when many predict a Grand Slam.
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Many were predicting a Grand Slam?
Who are these "many?'
I saw a guy today walking around Buckingham Park predicting the end of the world, but I didn't take him seriously.
As far as Tiger "collapsing" on the back nine Sundau, he certainly wasn't the only one. Almost the entire field was over par on the back nine.
Ironically, J.B. Holmes was one of only a handful of golfers who were under par on the back nine Sunday.
This after being 14 OVER PAR on the front nine.
I don't want to split hairs, but we must compare Woods to other PGA tour members since they are the only one who he competes against.
It's immaterial, but Tiger was even par for the final round when he came to the 16th tee on Sunday. Then he ran into a buzzsaw and dropped six shots in the last three holes.
That sort of thing happens to the best of them occasionally.
I say Woods is competing only with history. And we might add, he's whuppin' history's butt so far.
Again, not splitting hairs, you said that Tiger collapsed on the back nine while Vijay went in the other direction to win.
As a matter of fact, Vijay himself was over par on the back nine, but only one over par.
You can put that title to the farm away.
As poor as Tiger's back nine was on Sunday,one player equaled Woods' eight over, and one other, Robert Karslsson, actually did worse. He was 44 on the inward nine on Sunday.
The field averaged 2+ strokes over par on the back nine on Sunday. Three players were under par; Monty -2. and Allenby and Holmes -1. Nine others were at pr. The remaining 65 golfers were over par, some like Woods were way over par.
In the first round at Doral, Woods played tee to green as well a anyone in the field.
BUT, he made only one putt over six feet. 32 putts in all.
If he had made only one or two, it wouldn't have been so bad.
Today, Tiger couldn't hit the side of a barn with a handful of rice.
If you believe Woods and take him seriously, you would kow that he never loses interest. As he has said firmly many times, he never "bags it." He always gives his best effort.
That attitude accounts for the number of top ten finishes Tiger has gotten when he was no where near rhe lead going into Sunday's round.
A few years ago at the Masters', Woods needed an up-and-down from a bunker on his final hole of the second round to make the cut on the number. The next day, I believe he shot a 66 and ended up top ten on Sunday.
Tiger never quits and he never loses interest. Fellows, he did finish T22nd in a tough field, for goodness sake. He had a tough final three holes, very tough to be honest, but that has happened to the best of them and will continue to happen in the future.
I know a thing or two about pro golf so you don't have to explain things to me.
No need to feel insulted, my man.
Just making a little fuel for discussion.
You said that Tiger sort of lost interest.
I said that he never loses interest.
Ignore the rest of my post if you like.
After Woods' bogey-free six-birdie round today, the title of your blog seems a bit out of place.
We'll just have to disagree on this one.
Do you think that Woods deliberately didn't swing hard enough to make it over the water on the final holes?
If he was just trying to finish and get off the course, he could have played it safe for pars on the last three. Instead, he went for the green on 18 and paid the price.
Tiger doesn't win them all, and he doesn't play well all the time, but he does win close to 25% of the events he enters, which means that 75% of the time, he finishes behind one or more golfers.
He still has on hell of a batting average.
Shanks, I apologize for all these posts but felt there were some significant points that needed to be made. I like your blog.
Tiger can make on-course corrections, or between round corrections, quicker than anyone else I have seen in the 25+ years I have watched the PGA tour.
All people are doing is feeding Tiger's ambition with such talk.
Glad we see eye to eye on alot of blogs. With your knowlege and dashing verbage, wouldn't want to go head to head with you in a courtroom.
When someone says they know alot about a subject, the subject themselves to being an expert, who is one who to stupid to realize they know alot about nothing...
Get a kick, when your blob is stumbling, just mention Bubbles is the greatest or Tiger is in a slump and watch the idiots come out of the woods...
You taking Tiger and giving the field in 2 weeks?
As I said, got nothing to write about, Bubbles or Slump...Gets 'em every time...
Actually, the way the oddsmakers set the lines on the PGA tour, Tiger is the poorest bet on the board. Not because of his ability but by the ridiculously low odds paid on Woods when he wins.
As an example, he only paid 2.23 to 1 when he just won at Doral. Also, he is listed at 2.25 to 1 with online betting sites. Since the true odds on Tiger to win in any tournament are about 3.25 to 1, the "juice", or the house edge is simply too much to overcome, even in a short run.
An even worse way to bet on Tiger would be in the imaginary matchups quoted by the online bookies.
For instance, Woods was -370 against Immellman in round three and Wetterich in round four. Tiger outscored Trevor, so by laying $370 one would have won $100. But in round four, Woods was outshot by Bret and thus with the same betting pattern, one would have dropped $370. for a net loss of $270.
My advice would be to watch Tiger perform and enjoy his game, but don't bet on him against those odds.
Tiger Woods is creating new definitions for words like greatness and domination.
Just for the sake of discussion, let's say that Woods doesn't win the Masters', but finishes something like he did last year, T3rd, top ten, or anywhere in the top twenty-five.
Can we expect another "Tiger is in a slump" blog?
One of the tournaments that Shanks includes in his "Tiger slump" was Woods' extra hole loss in the WGC match play a month ago.
Now, Oliver, you have stated that the commonly-held opinions that Woods never loses interest and that he always gives it his best are nothing but hype, the creations of IMG publicists.
So let's put your assertion to the test. In Tiger's match againsr O'Hern, he was four down after seven holes, rallied slightly, but was still three down after ten. If a player had a propensity for losing interest, not giving a GD,that would have been the time to exhibit that tendency.
Instead, Tiger rallied to even the match after sixteen holes. O'Hern birdied seventeen to go one up, so Tiger HAD to win the last hole to take the match to extra holes. He got a clutch birdie on 18 and almost won the match on the first extra hole, but missed a four foot putt. He lost it on the 20th hole, when Nick holed a pretty long putt for the win.
But now Oliver, can you honestly say that Woods' gutsy comeback performance could have been pulled off by a guy who "loses interest" who doesn't give a GD?