Even though Tiger Woods just missed a cut in his first start back, acted surprised at the difference between Bermuda and cool season grasses, and has no plans to get more tournament “reps” between now and The Open Championship, he’s currently still listed at a generous 20-1 for Royal Liverpool.
We debated some key points on Morning Drive today with Gary Williams and Damon Hack (not posted) and it's pretty clear to anyone who is a Tiger-the-golfer fan: the fire just isn't there. To be feeling better and have the major he could so easily win because of his creativity, ability to handle the wind and epic performance there last time and not to be taking it seriously suggests Tiger just doesn't quite care like he used to. He loves his adorable kids, loves his yacht and it's summertime! What's not to love if you're him? Oh right, practicing and preparing for links golf.
Remember, he's been on the national stage nearly 20 years now and there's only so long the fire can burn. I don't begrudge him. He gave us many great years and he'll have a few more runs in him, but to be supposedly feeling great and to go on vacation after his Congressional play suggests he just doesn't care like he used to. Doesn't make him a bad person, it just mean's he's not the Tiger we used to know.
Robert Lusetich addressed the many oddities of Tiger's performance at Congressional and the defeatist comments after, which included blaming grass types for his rusty short game.
Felt great and shot a 4-over-par 75 -- Tiger's New Math.
There will be those who feel it's too harsh to criticize a golfer coming off a three-month layoff and especially one coming off back surgery.
But this is the great Tiger Woods we're talking about, not some journeyman, and it's hard to imagine the old Tiger embracing excuses or mediocrity.
And remember that Woods insisted in May that the time off recuperating from surgery was a blessing, as it had allowed him time to work on his short game.
Except that his short game at Congressional was as horrible as it's ever been.
Woods only got up-and-down on three of 16 missed greens.
Imagine if he hadn't worked on his short game.