Tiger Woods' 2012 Masters performance this April was his worst ever. Woods did not look like the four-time tourney winner, shooting five-over par. Since then, however, Tiger has learned from the failure and focused on attitude and accuracy.
It's one thing to be disappointed with a shot, but all a golfer can do is put it behind him. During the second round of the Masters Tournament, Tiger couldn't do that.
On the 16th hole, Woods' tee shot flailed into the bunker. In disgust, Tiger drop-kicked his club and never recovered—shooting a 75.
It's easier said than done, but Woods cannot let frustration ruin his golf game. In such a hit-or-miss sport, anger rarely leads to birdies.
"I've been around the block for a number of years, and I understand how to be patient," Woods told Steve DiMeglio of the USA TODAY after the second round on April 7. "I understand how to grind it out, and the tournament is not over."
With that in mind, Woods still was unable to put a bad 18 holes behind him and shot a 72 and 74 in rounds three and four. As a result, his Masters was indeed over.
“It was a shock to me because it was obviously nerves at Augusta,” said NBC analyst Johnny Miller (via Carl Steward of the Boston Herald). “In his whole career, nerves never had anything to do with how he performed. So I don’t know what to think of Tiger Woods at the Open.”
Nerves and emotion got the best of him at Augusta, but that doesn't look to be the case moving forward.
Since his angry outburst, Woods hasn't shot any worse than a 74, per PGATour.com. By staying cool and collected, Woods overcame a first-round 74 to shoot a 68 in round two at The Players Championship. And in June's Memorial Tournament, Woods shot a 67 just one round after shooting a 73.
Tiger is shooting better and having fun playing the sport he loves.
He finished the Wells Fargo Championship on par, shot a one-under at the Players Championship and nine-under when he was crowned the winner at the Jack Nicklaus Memorial Tournament.
"His remarkable rally at the Memorial makes the temptation greater than ever to proclaim he has turned the corner and is picking up speed," said Doug Ferguson of the Associated Press.
Taking one swing at a time has benefited Tiger, as he's rediscovered the abilities that have helped him win 73 PGA tournaments and 14 majors.
"I had it all today," Woods told the AP's Ferguson after his Memorial Tournament win. "Whatever club I wanted to hit, I could hit. That was fun to have it when I needed it."
The next stop for Woods is the United States Open Championship in San Francisco. For Tiger to continue on this streak and pick up his third victory of the year, he must focus on the little things.
When Tiger Woods tees off on June 14 at the Olympic Club, positive thinking and precision will be his ingredients to victory.