Tiger Woods' Aura of Invincibility Further Damaged at 2013 British Open
There was a time when Tiger Woods' name on the leaderboard at a major championship was a death blow to the rest of the field.
Just knowing Woods was charging used to send grown men into mental retreats.
By the time Sunday afternoon rolled around you could count on the fact that the rest of the world's best golfers would be scrapping for second place.
But after another uninspired performance by Woods at the 2013 British Open, it's clear this Tiger has lost his roar.
Woods hasn't won a major championship since the 2008 U.S. Open.
He's gotten himself in position to win plenty of times, posting nine top-10 finishes since his last win—including his fourth-place finish at this year's Masters and his sixth-place finish at the 2013 British Open.
In recent history, the current No. 1 player in the world has gotten off to hot starts, only to fizzle badly in the final two rounds, as noted by ESPN Stats & Info:
Tiger Woods: +23 in rounds 3 & 4 over last 6 majors (-11 rounds 1 & 2)— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) July 21, 2013
These days, when the going gets tough in the final rounds of major championships, Woods can't get his game going. This truth was painfully illustrated at Muirfield this year, as Woods progressively declined throughout the course of the four-round event.
Just two shots off the lead heading into the final round, with the tournament well within reach, Woods couldn't get out of his own way on Sunday. After managing to shoot just eight bogeys in the first three rounds, Tiger carded six of them in Round 4, countering his three birdies to finish with a score of 74.
When he was winning majors, Woods put a stranglehold on the tournament by posting excellent scores in the second and third rounds, setting himself up for his typical "grinding" final round. A master of minimizing his mistakes, he would simply play not to lose on Sundays, which worked just fine.
But Tiger's aura of invincibility is long gone now.
His peers know it, and everyone watching on television knows it.
Will Tiger ever regain his roar?
No longer does Woods' name on the leaderboard cause his fellow competitors to run for the hills.
He's become incredibly mortal after years of behaving like a demigod on the PGA Tour, and the only thing that will revitalize his former standing is a victory in a major championship.
Speaking of majors, Woods won't have to wait long to get back on the horse.
The PGA Championship begins on August 8 at the Oak Hill Country Club in Rochester, New York. It's a venue Woods knows well, but the last time he played Oak Hill in the PGA Championship he played poorly, finishing the tournament at 12-over par in 39th place.
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