Early Playoff Exit Looms: Where Did Tiger's Fight Go?

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If you’re a Tiger fan there are a couple pieces worth reading after his opening 75 at the 2019 Northern Trust, all but setting him up for a playoff exit next week, barring a resurgence. **And now a WD Friday morning.

ESPN.com’s Bob Harig considers everything we’ve seen since the Masters and concludes that odd decisions may not be helping his back.

Why fly overnight to The Open last month, arriving in the early hours at Royal Portrush right off the plane, to practice? With his own jet, Woods can fly when he wants, get the proper rest and treatment, and make sure he prepares and warms up properly. From the moment Woods set foot in Northern Ireland, he never looked right.

This week, Woods arrived on Tuesday afternoon, and soon was playing a practice round with Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka, trying to launch his drives with the longest hitters on tour. He barely warmed up, had just come from the plane, and rushed to get in putting practice before heading to a planned Presidents Cup dinner that lasted well into the evening. Then there was the quick turnaround to Wednesday's 7 a.m. pro-am time, and again he struggled.

Harig also notes that Tiger no longer travels with the physio of years past.

Eamon Lynch of Golfweek seizes on the lack of fight in Woods and concludes that Tiger’s season may have ended when he achieved his goal of winning another major. And Tiger’s just fine with that.

Woods has immense pride — even in the darkest of times that never changed — but that famous passion is gone, for now at least. He admitted this week to aches and pains that make high-level golf next to impossible some days. But there have also been days when he insists his balky back is fine and that he simply played poorly. “It’s a little bit stiff, yeah, but that’s just the way it’s going to be,” he said with a resigned realism.

And this…

No matter how poorly he played Thursday, or how truncated his run in the FedEx Cup playoffs may prove to be, there exists no measure by which Woods’ year can be deemed a failure. He carries himself with the air of a man who knows as much.