Golf's Toughest Question: What Really Caused the Tiger Woods Performance Crash?

Mike RoozenContributor IIMay 5, 2011

UNITED STATES - MAY 03:  Tiger Woods shows his frustration during the first round of the 2007 Wachovia Championship held at Quail Hollow Country Club in Charlotte, North Carolina on May 3, 2007.  (Photo by Richard Schultz/Getty Images)
Richard Schultz/Getty Images

There is still one real difficult question swirling around the whole Tiger Woods scene since he crashed his Caddy, staggered through the full exposure of his bizarre personal life, and started his comeback on Tour.

What caused Tiger's performance crash?

I mean if his knee is toast and thereby his career is as well, that makes sense.

But according to Woods himself, the knee wasn't toast until he swung from under the Eisenhower tree at this year's Masters.

Before that, according to him, throughout the full course of his comeback, he was 100 percent physically and attributed the lack of winning performance to swing changes and some process.

The process, he insisted, was showing continual improvement and would soon produce the results everyone wanted.

But the process never produced the anticipated results before the knee got it's recent trashing.

What was the deal then?

Why was he not able to perform at basically the same level he performed at prior to the divorce and all that public exposure?

How did any of that cause him to hit shorter drives and miss crucial putts?  How did he go from first and second in those categories to 65th in driving distance and 121st in putting?

People have to wonder, whether they play golf at the highest level, the lowest level or not at all.

"What happened to this guy?"

Tiger's run looked like it was far from over when in ended.  So what caused Tiger's run to end? Marital chaos?

It doesn't add up, so the question remains.

Tiger Woods suffered a performance crash.


If you think about how utterly dominant he had been, and how totally undominant he became, there is really nothing else you can call it.

Personal problems like Tiger's are troublesome but they never cause performance crashes. 

Healthy athletes don't experience performance crashes. 

Nor are performance crashes generally experienced when a pro athlete winds up with a change in coaches.

Who does?

A few names come to mind.  One is Tony Mandarich.  Another is Brian Bosworth.  I'm not saying that explains it right there, but you have to admit, it could.