Coming into Saturday's "Moving Day" at Augusta, Tiger Woods seemed back and in the zone after his highly-publicized scandal and long-awaited return to the game.
After his stunning 68 in his opening round—the lowest he has ever opened with at The Masters—he shot a 70 on Friday, keeping him biting at the heels of the leaders.
In the past five months, Tiger Woods has gone from America's beloved golf hero to a scandalous man that broke every moral he insisted he stood for. When he held his press conference at Augusta National during the practice rounds, he stated that he was going to tone himself down, vowing to act in a more dignified and respectful manner on the course. Woods has been criticized for his tantrums and outbursts on the golf course, even before his extramarital affairs.
However, Tiger let us know that, in the infamous words of Dennis Green, that "he is who we thought he is," when he hit a bad shot off the tee on the par three sixth hole. Woods immediately threw his club down in anger, shouting "Tiger Woods, you suck, god dammit!" which was broadcast live on CBS. Gulp.
Verne Lundquist added, "I don't think he's too pleased."
On hole seven after a bad shot, he again slammed his club and said, "Dammit." Peter Kostis followed that up with "I'd hate to be the ball that Tiger is going to hit on the eighth tee right now."
With Tiger's return to an event as prestigious as The Masters, there isn't only golf fans watching. For the past five months, Tiger's every detail of his personal life has been out for the world to see, and every move he makes has been highly scrutinized. The audience for this year's Masters will probably be one of the largest ever, with ESPN's Thursday and Friday coverage up 50 percent over last year.
When Tiger had his tantrum, he let the world know that he is either a work in process, or a fraud. Time will tell which one is he. Is he still the self-centered, hypocritical man who we have made him out to be for the past five months, or is he a broken, humbled icon, having to re-learn almost every relationship in his life?
Golf is a gentlemen's game, and the players are expected to be held to a high moral code of conduct, and at an event as controlled as The Masters, Tiger Woods' conduct is unacceptable.
Tiger's frustration carried over, as he made bogies on No. 7 and No. 10, both par fours. After making the turn, Tiger seemed to be as unstable as his personal life, making par or birdie on each hole up to the 16th, keeping him three shots behind Phil Mickelson and Lee Westwood, both 11-under through 17 and 14 respectively.
Woods bogeyed on hole 17, after his drive sliced all the way to the 15th fairway and then shot into the patrons. After a beautiful pitch, he was within par, but Tiger missed the put, leaving him four shots behind the leaders.
Of course, as all golfing legends from Arnold Palmer to Jack Nicklaus seem to do, Woods rose to the occasion by hitting a beautiful approach on 18, leaving him a three-to-four foot putt for birdie. After receiving a resounding reception from the gallery, Tiger calmly knocked the putt into the center of the cup for a birdie, sending the seemingly pro-Woods crowd into a frenzy, with hopes of a thrilling final round.
Tiger's performance on Saturday showed us that he is a work in progress, but after finishing with a 70, he stated that "It was a rough day. I made a couple bad drives, but I wanted to be in contention, and that's where I am."