The signs have been there for a while, but they became clearer during Thursday’s opening round of the PGA Championships in Atlanta.
This Tiger Woods isn’t the same player who once dominated golf.
In fact this Tiger appears to be very ordinary these days. And that was never more obvious than Thursday when the former world’s No.1 golfer completely flopped during the opening round of the PGA Championships, shooting a shocking 77 to finish the day way behind the leaders.
Woods, who once had a flair for the majors, at times didn’t look like he belonged as he dropped balls in the water and hit from the bunkers throughout the day en route to his worst round ever at the PGA Championships. He made three double bogeys and five bogeys on the day as he shot 7-over par.
That certainly is not the type of the performance you would expect from a golfer who has 14 major titles to his credit.
"I'm not down, I'm just very angry right now," said Woods, who hasn’t won a major since the 2008 U.S. Open. "I thought I could play by feel, see the shot, hit the shot. I'm not at that point yet."
Woods is appearing in just his second competition since returning last week from a three-month layoff from an Achilles tendon and knee injury. And from the looks of it, it’s quite possible he could be headed for another long layoff.
Should Woods not make the top 70 on Friday, he will not make the cut and that would also effectively put an end to his PGA Tour participation this season. Woods, 35, is ranked 129th in this week’s FedEx Cup points and he needs to be among the 125 through next week’s Wyndham Championship in order to advance to the playoffs in two weeks.
Woods has already said he will skip next week’s tournament due to family obligations which puts major pressure on Friday’s performance.
It’s obvious Woods probably needs more time off to get healthier and perhaps put more distance between his game and the personal problems that have dogged him the past couple of years.
Information in this report was obtained from ESPN.com and the Associated Press.
(Photo: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)