Blog Entry

Tiger's opening 71 seemed just about right

Posted on: March 1, 2012 6:57 pm
Edited on: March 2, 2012 9:49 am
Tiger holds onto his Nike golf glove during first round play. (Getty Images)

By Shane Bacon

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. -- On Thursday at the Honda Classic, the afternoon buzz was astir because a certain someone was playing in the event for the first time. A fan remarked to his buddy, “It seems like there are a lot more people here than last year,” something that was obvious when the tournament sold 30,000 tickets overnight the day Tiger Woods announced he would be in the field. 

Parents and kids made shirts. A fan next to me erupted in approval and sprinted to the 11th tee after Tiger stuffed his second shot to just a couple of feet for his third birdie of the day. 

And amongst all the buzz, there was a guy that played a very vanilla round of golf on a tough track. Tiger, playing in the windier afternoon, posted a 1-over 71, with the best thing being that it could have been worse. 

Yes, Tiger still missed short putts and seemed downright puzzled when shots would come up short or fly long, but for the most part, he played the golf course average at best, and the best news is he isn’t completely out of the tournament (Davis Love III, for all his great play on Thursday, isn’t exactly expected to post a similar low round on Friday). 

Woods’ golf game is simply Woods’ golf game right now. He hits some good shots and some bad ones. He makes the occasional birdie and drops back with the occasional bogey. All too often he has 30 feet on holes that it seemed he might hit it close, and the putts that almost always dropped in the past are almost expected to miss (And do) these days. 

The problem with explaining Tiger’s rounds these days is that there aren’t a ton of things to expound upon. He is tied for 68th right now and might move up a few spots one way or the other on Friday, but it just doesn’t seem he has a really low round in him right now. 

That might change, but it doesn’t look like Woods has found the magic elixir he so desperately needs just yet, and it could be a while before he uncovers it. 

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Since: Mar 2, 2012
Posted on: March 2, 2012 10:26 am

Tiger's opening 71 seemed just about right

Tiger will not rise to the heights he once occupied.  His true personality is showing for all to see re: his confrontation with the reporter asking about aspects of Haney's book.  His days of stonewalling people are over as he doesn't carry the clout he once possessed.  Clearly Tiger has had and still has a lot to hide.  Jack's position as the greatest golfer who ever swung a club will not be passed even if Tiger were to surpass his major victories.  Class is something that Jack has and Tiger will never possess.  BTW, the Seals would not want someone who doesn't have character and honor,  clearly qualities that you haven't shown you possess.

Since: Oct 12, 2009
Posted on: March 1, 2012 11:21 pm

Tiger's opening 71 seemed just about right

The sportswriters of America have tunnelvision. In golf it's Tiger, in MLB it's Yankees, Boston, Phillies. In the NBA it's Kobe or KingJames. The NFL it's only a few teams, Nascar, now known as NASCART has a new favorite besides Junior.... Danica's on the scene. In fact, the whole media in this country is a disgrace to journalism now. I'll take the old days anytime.

Since: May 19, 2010
Posted on: March 1, 2012 9:17 pm

Tiger's opening 71 seemed just about right

Unfortunately, he will never win again (and I'm a Tiger fan). 

He can analyze everything, bring in a new swing coach, a new putter, a new caddie, etc.. It's over. 
I can only hope you are correct. This couldn't happen to a nicer guy. Karma Tiger. Karma

Since: Jan 10, 2009
Posted on: March 1, 2012 8:45 pm

Tiger's opening 71 seemed just about right

Unfortunately, he will never win again (and I'm a Tiger fan).

He can analyze everything, bring in a new swing coach, a new putter, a new caddie, etc.. It's over.

Since: Jun 5, 2011
Posted on: March 1, 2012 7:45 pm

Tiger's opening 71 seemed just about right

Tiger always starts with a mediocre round, whether he is in his prime or sucking wind.  He plays conservatively the first day, because he knows that nobody wins the tournament on Thursday.  On a side note, if tournaments could be won on Thursday, I would be happy to see Davis Love III "win" this one, but I digress.  

Woods has been working his bleep off on his swing.  He has, somehow, forgotten to work on his putting.  For years, his ungodly ability to be golden from ten feet and in under stress has been a very underrated factor in his dominance.  We can project things for Tiger all we want, but the bottom line is that we don't really have any basis for comparison.  

Golf is a strange game.  Not only do you have to have all of the elements, but you have to have the ability to put them all together and perform under pressure.  Tiger is obviously missing one major element right now, and maybe half of another.  With a talent like Tiger, though, you never know when they are all going to "come back" for him.  It could happen this week, it could happen at the Masters, or it might never happen, but you can't ever really count him out.  

My money is on continued baby steps culminating in a quantum leap by the US Open.  

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