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Is Tiger Woods' Strategy Hurting Him in Majors?

CHASKA, MN - AUGUST 15:  Tiger Woods watches his tee shot on the 13th hole during the third round of the 91st PGA Championship at Hazeltine National Golf Club on August 15, 2009 in Chaska, Minnesota.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Joseph CiracoCorrespondent IAugust 15, 2009

Tiger Woods is the best player in the universe.

Tiger Woods will end up being the best player ever when he decides to retire in 10 years or so.

I think losing tomorrow will help him re-establish his dominance in the years to come.

No, I'm not writing about this because I'm bored.

No, I'm not writing about this because I hate Tiger Woods.

The simple fact is that Tiger Woods changes his style of play in the majors and it's going to cost him his 15th title tomorrow.

Not that long ago, Tiger could afford to play safe on the weekend when he was on the leader board because everyone else would simply implode.

That's no longer the case in the majors.

I totally agree with the famous cliche, "You can't win a tournament on Thursday but you can surely lose it."

As we've seen in the past, Tiger rarely shoots his best scores on Thursday because he's always willing to post a decent score.

Over the course of the next three days, Tiger will slowly creep up the leader board by attacking the short par fours and all the par fives.

This week, Tiger opened with a solid 67 but has now played two very cautious rounds.

Aside from the wonderful drive on the short par four 14th and the beautiful approach on 18, Tiger has played very conservatively the last 36 holes.

Players like Padraig Harrington, Ernie Els, and Y.E. Yang gained valuable strokes on Tiger today.

That insurmountable four-stroke lead is down to two, and if Tiger continues to hit long irons off the tee, I really believe he's going to be on the losing end tomorrow.

I'm not questioning his mental toughness on the putting surface.

I'm not doubting his incredible iron play.

I'm simply stunned that he's playing so close to the vest on so many holes. 

Some holes are clearly not birdie chances—especially the long par threes and fours.

But Tiger is preventing himself from having better chances by being so cautious off the tee.

Can Tiger win tomorrow?  Of course.  He's the best player by miles.

Do I expect him to win tomorrow?  Well, betting against him is never wise but if there was a time to do it, I believe it's tomorrow.

Harrington will not be intimidated. 

I'll take the guy from Ireland in a reversal of last week's ending.

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