Honda Classic Leaderboard 2012: Tiger Doomed By Poor 1st Day
The old Tiger Woods would still be scaring the field at seven shots back going into the final day, but not this one. Tiger continues to look human, even after consecutive sub-70 days has him a far cry from the place he was after he shot a poor 71 on day one. Tiger sits at a respectable two-under after finishing up day three action with a 69 to follow his 68 on day two.
I keep waiting for the old Tiger to reclaim his dominance in the sport, but it still hasn't happened. Lately he has looked like just another one of the Tour's really good players, and not like the man we thought would rewrite every record in the book.
He has 19 come-from-behind victories in his glorious career, but those were from the old Tiger.
Right now, Woods is looking up at 17 players that have yet to tee off at the time of this article's publication. The leader amongst this group is Tom Gillis who sits at nine-under. Obviously, the leaders could fall a few strokes and close some of the distance between themselves and Tiger, but that is asking a lot from so many different players with only one day remaining.
The story for Tiger here has been similar to the story at his most recent failures to claim a tournament victory. The one really bad round has been his Achilles' heel.
Earlier in the year, Tiger was in place to win at Pebble Beach in the AT&T Pro-Am. He had shot a 67 through three rounds heading into the final day, only to deliver an absolute clunker of a 75 to kill his chances.
Where will Tiger finish in this tournament?
Something similar happened in Dubai. Tiger had gotten progressively stronger throughout the tournament, shooting a 70, 69 and 66 in the first three rounds. Then while firmly in the hunt, he shot a 72 on the final day that again snuffed out any chance of a win.
This time the fall came on the first day, and it effectively ended any realistic hopes of him winning this tournament.
I remember a time when realistic didn't matter when it came to the odds on a Tiger comeback.
Nathan Easler of ESPN.com wrote this in 2009 after Tiger had just pulled the improbable at Bay Hill:
Amazing. Unbelievable. Not from this solar system.
There are no superlatives in the English language that give justice to the things Tiger Woods is able to do on the golf course, especially when it matters the most.
This week the stats blog attempts to quantify just how improbable Tiger's putting performance was in his repeat victory at Bay Hill and details the ebb and flow of Tiger's return to the winner's circle. It seemed he could do anything on the course, and we just knew something great was going to happen.
I must admit, I miss those days when he was as good a bet for great fortune as any player in the world.
Now, we are beginning to wait for the opposite to rise up and bite him in every tournament.
This time, we didn't have to wait too long.
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