Tiger had us believing again. We thought he’d be able to pull it off. He was in striking distance to start the day, showed up in his red shirt and black hat, and even took the lead on the back 9.
Then, before the ink was dry on all the tweets proclaiming that Tiger was back, he fell apart. He lost 3 shots on two holes when he followed a double bogey on 11 with a bogey on 12. That put him pretty much out of the running. He went from 1 shot up on everyone to 2 shots down, and was never able to muster a comeback. He had a great shot or two on the last few holes, but there was never any hope of him getting his lead back.
While he was floundering, his partner, Francesco Molinari, was taking a strangle hold on the leaderboard. He had 16 pars and 2 birdies in the last round, and any doubt as to who was going to win was erased when he birdied 18 to go in the clubhouse with a sizeable lead.
The events of Sunday lead us to another question: Will Tiger ever dominate or even win another Major? This question would’ve seemed ridiculous 10 years ago, when he was dominating the sport perhaps more than any other player had dominated a sport. But, after his run in with his ex wife, his injury history, and his inability to finish down the stretch it’s a conversation we need to have. Based on what we’ve seen, I think the answer to that question is no.
Having Tiger in the mix is good for golf. He puts asses in the seats, there’s no question about it. This weekend’s tournament proved that he still belongs with the big boys, but whether or not he will ever again be at the top of the leaderboard is another matter entirely.
Pat is the host of the Weekend Warrior Podcast
Interact with him on Twitter @wtplane
Photo credit: The Least Thing