Tiger Woods' Mystique Is Missing After 2013 Tour Championship Collapse
Tiger Woods' collapse over the closing holes of his second round at the 2013 Tour Championship on Friday provides further evidence that the world No.1 has lost his mystique.
Woods played the last five holes in six over par en route to a one-over 71 that left him a full 14 shots behind leader Henrik Stenson.
It also saw him drop out of the running for the FedEx Cup title, barring a monumental collapse from Stenson.
In winning five tournaments this season in dominant fashion, some of the Woods' mystique that made him all but invincible in his heyday showed up again in flashes.
However, after an unmitigated dismantling down the stretch at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta in Round 2, Woods' aura continues to be diminished in golf's most important events.
Maybe it's more attributable to Woods being 37 years old with a long list of injuries, but never before have we heard him admit to running "out of gas," which is how he described himself after Round 2:
It makes sense, considering he began the day five under after birdies at holes 12 and 13, but then the double bogey at the 14th happened.
Then another dropped shot at No. 16 happened. Then an unthinkable triple bogey 7 happened at the 17th.
Tiger Woods climbed leaderboard, then went 6-over next four holes. Boy, that escalated quickly. I mean, that really got out of hand fast.— Jason Sobel (@JasonSobelGC) September 20, 2013
When Woods has struggled in the past, he has demonstrated an ability to grind it out and score better than he has played. That was part of his mystique, but now it's absent in many big tournaments.
This is the 1st time since 1998 that Tiger Woods has opened the TOUR Championship with back-to-back rounds over par.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) September 20, 2013
Other than at major championships, the stakes couldn't be higher this week in Atlanta where 30 players are gunning for a $10 million bonus for winning the FedEx Cup, as well as prize money for the tournament itself.
Woods started the event top of the point standings, as he had been for much of 2013 thanks to his frequent winning. But Friday's disaster on the back nine leaves his game in poor standing.
Despite leading the PGA Tour for much of the year in putting, he had 34 putts in the second round and hit less than 36 percent of fairways, which made navigating the greens all the more difficult.
Once again, on one of the biggest golf stages in the world, Woods is falling short.
Is Tiger Woods' season a disappointment now that he's all but certain not to win the FedEx Cup?
When showing poor form at the U.S. Open and PGA Championship, Woods seemed like a prizefighter punch-drunk by the difficult courses and his recent struggles in majors.
Woods has not won a major since 2008's U.S. Open and nor has he put together a strong enough season to win the FedEx Cup until now.
But he will ultimately fall short and may even get beaten in the Player of the Year honors.
Although Woods' career is far from done and he is still capable of winning his share of tournaments, the uniquely-calculated, intimidating competitor of old now only shows up occasionally.
That was the case on Friday and may prevent him from winning another FedEx Cup—or catching Jack Nicklaus' record of 18 majors.
Note: Statistics, information and video are courtesy of PGATour.com.
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