Tiger Woods didn't show up for the 2013 U.S. Open, finishing with a final score of 13-over par, well outside the lead. The way he played, it seemed more like "Bizarro" Tiger Woods on the course than the player we've seen for most of the 2013 season.
Analysts around the world will now spend the next few weeks dissecting "what's wrong" with Woods' game and coming to wild conclusions about the man's future.
After all, this was the second tournament in a row in which Woods looked completely inept in all phases of his game—compelling evidence that he's clearly lost his mojo.
Many people believe he'll never beat Jack Nicklaus' 18-major record.
People must be forgetting about the fact that Woods has won four tournaments already this year and had a fourth-place finish at the 2013 Masters.
Doubt the man all you want, but you can be sure his five-year major championship drought will only fuel his desire to beat Nicklaus' record. In the end, your doubts will make it all the sweeter when he does.
Woods isn't an old man. He's only 37 years old, and he recently told ESPN's Gene Wojciechowski that he's not going to start worrying about failing to beat Nicklaus' record until he's 60.
The only thing his poor showing at Merion proves is that Woods is in the midst of a rough patch.
This shouldn't surprise anyone. Golf is an incredibly difficult game. The only reason Woods receives criticism for having two bad tournaments in a row is because he made winning look easy when he was younger.
It isn't easy, and it never was.
Make no mistake about it, however: Woods will beat Nickalus' record at some point. The man is still the best golfer in the world—despite his poor performances of late. He's capable of winning any tournament at any time, and sooner or later, he's going to win major championship No. 15.
Nicklaus was stuck at No. 14 for three years before claiming No. 15. He then went on a two-year drought between No. 15 and No. 16. His 18th major victory came six years after No. 17.
It takes time to accumulate these wins, and Woods still has plenty of it to get the job done.
Don't think for a second that Tiger is going to stay down for the rest of his career when it comes to major championships. He's driven to succeed, and barring catastrophic injury, he'll finish what he started.
Follow me on Twitter @JesseReed78.
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