I’m going out on quite a limb here, arguing that Tiger Woods will not win a tournament in 2015, but as of this writing he has failed to win since 2013, has not won a major since 2008 and has been playing more like Tom Gorman.
Okay, admittedly that’s a stretch. When Woods cards an 82 it’s as though he’s fallen off the top of Mt. Rushmore. When Gorman comes home with an 82 it’s time to pop the cork off a bottle of Krug and then warm up the polygraph machine.
But while it may not be Mt. Rushmore, Tiger has certainly fallen off the mountain and not any of those that he’s been seen on, toothless, watching Lindsey Vonn swoop by.
This year, young as it is, has been an unmitigated and embarrassing disaster for the guy who once was golf’s version of the Sun God.
Consider the train wreck that was 2014. First, because of injuries and such, he only participated in seven events and not only did he not win, he only played on the weekend three times and never finished UNDER par. In fact the only time he did finish under par was at the Honda Classic and he withdrew because of back ailments, which have become chronic.
Twice he withdrew last year and two other times he missed the cut. Of the three tournaments where he did make the cut he finished at 6 over (Farmers) 5 over (British Open) and 6 over (WGC Cadillac).
This year, in the two events in which he was entered, Woods gave new meaning to the Waste Management Open, recording a two-day total of 13 over par (dead last) and had to withdraw (back again) from the Farmers Insurance Open after only 11 holes.
The plus 13 was the worst total of Tiger’s professional life.
After his infamous run-in with a fire hydrant on Thanksgiving night a few years back, Woods has continually fallen from grace, tumbling from the top spot in the world rankings and seemingly flat on his face (which might have explained the missing tooth).
Two years ago the biggest concern in the Woods’ camp was his failure to win a major, but it was generally considered only a matter of time before he broke through again and added onto the 14 already in the trophy case. He did, after all, win five times on tour in 2013 and was the overwhelming choice as Player of the Year.
But it remains a fact that Woods has not won a major title since his doctor, Anthony Galea, was arrested for smuggling HGH across the border from Canada in 2009.
It also remains a fact that Woods’ body has been betraying him more times than he has changed swing coaches.
Of late even the short game, that made him a legend and caused his opponents to melt into the greens, has dissolved into what can only be described as a yips and chili dip festival. You can’t win your club championship if your short game becomes radioactive, much less a PGA Tour event.
Woods is now 39 years of age. His prime belongs to history and it’s a magnificent history, second only in stature to Jack Nicklaus.
And while 39 is not ancient and plenty of players have not only won tournaments in their 40s (Nicklaus won his last major at 46), but have thrived, Woods is an old 39.
Will he win this year? Maybe, but I doubt it.
(Tim Geary is a R.I. based freelance writer. His last victory came in bingo)WHAT'S YOUR REACTION?