Greenbrier Classic 2012: Poor Consistency Shows Tiger Woods Still Isn't Old Self
Eldrick "Tiger" Woods used to epitomize consistency, but now you don't know what you are going to get from the 14-time Major champion. Each tournament seems to bring a different version of Woods to the table.
Woods is one-over par after the Greenbrier Classic's opening round on Thursday. He is eight strokes behind the leader Vijay Singh, but there's still plenty of time for a comeback. Having said that, after Woods' first-round play, I'm not sure how anyone can be confident.
It wasn't supposed to be like this. After taking first in the AT&T National, every golf enthusiast once again began to wonder if Woods was "back." His finishes in the Honda Classic, Arnold Palmer and the Memorial Tournament contributed to this as well.
We want to believe that Woods is back, but look at each of his finishes following a good tournament.
After his second-place finish in the Honda Classic on March 1, he participated in the WGC Classic on March 8. Woods missed the cut.
He was supposed to be "back" after his victory in the Arnold Palmer on March 22, but on April 5, he finished tied for 40th in the Masters.
Woods teased fans again with his first-place finish in the Memorial Tournament on May 31, and he even let it continue into the US Open's opening rounds on June 14 and 15. However, he eventually disappointed again by finishing seven-over par (tied for 21st).
So why are we surprised?
Yes, Woods won the AT&T National. He played a great tournament and finished eight-under par for the weekend, but once again, that hasn't lasted. He's only one-over par in the Greenbrier Classic, but his play suggests it could get worse.
He struggled with his putter and at times seemed to fight himself from the fairway. He still doesn't seem completely comfortable.
Tiger just isn't Tiger.
In an interview with the Washington Post, Woods blamed his preparation.
Woods committed to the Greenbrier Classic in May and didn’t play Old White for the first time until Wednesday. He needed 31 putts in the first round and said the greens were slower than those in his last three tournaments.
'I was a little bit off with my game, and on top of that I didn’t have the speed of these greens at all,' said Woods, the tour leader this year with three victories. 'I missed literally every single putt high today.'
That very well may be the case. Woods knows his game better than anyone, but that doesn't change the facts.
He isn't "back." In fact, he may never be.
Fans need to accept Woods for what he is now. He's a dangerous player because of his pedigree and unrivaled reputation, but he is far from the player he once was. He shows flashes of that brilliant player, but the consistency isn't there.
It's not something he's going to just find. Even when it looks like he's "found" it, it's gone a week later and he's stuck toward the bottom of a non-Major leaderboard.
Woods will always draw attention because of his commanding presence and iconic status. He's done too much for that too ever change, but he isn't the player we saw hold a solid 10 or 12-year vice-grip on the golfing world.
Watching Woods win a tournament is nice, but it's no different than anyone else at this point.
It isn't a comeback bid. It's just like any player who finds his stroke for a weekend.
It's tough to write off a player like Woods, and I'm not. He's going to win tournaments, here and there, for the remainder of his career. However, he isn't going to be the consistent player we grew to know.
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