Tigers Braces For Emotional Final Time Around Liberty National

Okay it's not Bobby Jones at the Old Course in '36 knowing this would likely be it, but you can just imagine how emotional it'll be for Tiger and the other PGA Tour greats to know this is likely the last time they'll ever have to get to play Liberty National.

With Tiger, the smiles and the cranky body language could be fatigue, but it was more likely the dread of knowing you have to play Liberty National one more time. I expect a chipper and fired up Tiger Sunday. Jim McCabe explores the first three days of very un-Tiger like intensity.

Until this week, that is, when a first-round 70 and second-round 71 were followed by quick exits from Liberty National.

Laryngitis? No. Sick of the media? Possibily, and who could blame him, given that he’s playing for the fifth time in seven weeks. But more than anything, you get the feeling that these greens give him the creeps and the sooner he’s out of here, the better. Maybe he was afraid if he got going on them, he’d get himself in trouble, yet when Woods finally stopped to talk and offered his views, he had all he could do to be diplomatic.

“The greens,” he said, “they are just so different.”

Steve Elling noticed the same thing.

Woods said that he turned up to play this week mainly to help give the tour, the FedEx series and the sponsor a shot in the arm, since he missed the Barclays in each of the past two seasons. Yet after seeing the critically panned course, his body language for the first two rounds suggested his give-a-crap meter was running low.The New York Post on Saturday said he had spent the week "acting like a child whose parents forced him to go to summer camp against his will."

Seems Tiger also had this to say about the setup Saturday. From an AP notes column:

Tiger Woods was surprised that players were allowed to use some forward tees at Liberty National on Saturday in The Barclays.

"Where the tees are, they are playing the ladies' tees most of the day," Woods said after shooting a 4-under 67 to reach 4 under overall on the rain-softened course.

Uh Tiger, for those green committees you'll be working in the future. It's forward tees.

Gary Van Sickle suggests that this unusual calling out by Woods was a ploy to get the tour rules officials to move things back.

Woods said he thought the tees would be back at the tips because the tour was using lift, clean and place rules due to wet conditions and a forecast of additional rain Saturday (that luckily never came, by the way). Steve Marino, who shares the lead with Paul Goydos, disagreed, saying he thought the course played plenty long.

What might be behind Tiger's mild rant? Simply that he wanted more of a challenge? More likely, he's looking for a competitive edge going into the final round.