Tiger Woods: 5 Reasons His "B" Game Is No Longer Good Enough on the PGA Tour

Gary BurzellCorrespondent IIIMay 16, 2011

Tiger Woods: 5 Reasons His "B" Game Is No Longer Good Enough on the PGA Tour

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    PONTE VEDRA BEACH, FL - MAY 12:  Tiger Woods looks on from the fifth hole during the first round of THE PLAYERS Championship held at THE PLAYERS Stadium course at TPC Sawgrass on May 12, 2011 in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty
    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    There was a time a few years ago when Tiger Woods could win a golf tournament even if he wasn't playing at his best.

    Knees would get weak, and golfers would start making mistakes if they saw his name at the top of the leaderboard.

    If a golfer had to play in the same group as Tiger, he would make them so nervous that many of their rounds ended in disaster.

    That was even when he wasn't playing well that week. If he was on top of his game, he was almost unbeatable.

    But that was then.

    Today, Woods is struggling and hasn't won on the PGA Tour since he won the 2009 BMW Championship.

    Gone are the days when he could win with his "B" game. Even his current "A" game can't seem to get the job done.

    Here are a few reasons why I think that is the case.

Tiger's Current "B" Game Is Not as Good as His Old "B" Game

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    PONTE VEDRA BEACH, FL - MAY 12:  Tiger Woods hits from a bunker on the sixth hole during the first round of THE PLAYERS Championship held at THE PLAYERS Stadium course at TPC Sawgrass on May 12, 2011 in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. Woods withdrew after sho
    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    There was a time when Tiger Wood's "A" game was unbeatable on almost every occasion.

    There was also a time when his "B" game was almost just as unbeatable. Even on his off weeks, Tiger was able to outplay and fight off other golfers on a consistent basis—but not any longer.

    That was when his "B" game was a lot better than it is now.

    His "A" game is currently pretty much middle of the pack, and his "B" game is worse than the "B" game of most of the golfers on the PGA Tour.

    He isn't going to win many tournaments with his current "A" game, and he isn't going to win any tournaments with his "B" game at all.

PGA Tour Golfers Have Gotten Better

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    PONTE VEDRA BEACH, FL - MAY 13:  Rickie Fowler hits his tee shot on the 14th hole during the second round of THE PLAYERS Championship held at THE PLAYERS Stadium course at TPC Sawgrass on May 13, 2011 in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.  (Photo by Sam Greenwoo
    Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

    Once upon a time, when Woods was winning on tour several times a year, there weren't as many good golfers on tour as there are now.

    The younger golfers are getting better and better, and many of the veterans have stepped up their game as well.

    One reason for this is other golfers seeing how Tiger worked at conditioning and other non-golf-related aspects of being an athlete. They saw how that made him a better golfer.

    Many other PGA Tour golfers are now doing the same thing—and becoming better golfers because of it.

    So many golfers under the age of 30, like Dustin Johnson, Rickie Fowler, Hunter Mahan, Jhonattan Vegas and others, are getting better and better. Even a player like Rory McIlroy, who had a meltdown at the 2011 Masters, is going to win a lot of tournaments in the future.

    While Tiger can beat these guys regularly if he gets his old "A" game back, he isn't going to beat them with his current "B" game.

    It just isn't going to happen.

Emergence of so Many Talented European, Australian and Other Golfers from Abroad

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    PONTE VEDRA BEACH, FL - MAY 12:  Adam Scott of Australia hits his tee shot on the 11th hole during the first round of THE PLAYERS Championship held at THE PLAYERS Stadium course at TPC Sawgrass on May 12, 2011 in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.  (Photo by Sam
    Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

    The outstanding play of the golfers from around the world the last few years is making it much harder to win on tour—especially in major championships.

    Golfers like Padraig Harrington, Luke Donald, Graeme Mcdowell, Justin Rose, Geoff Ogilvy, Adam Scott, Martin Laird, Paul Casey, Jhonattan Vegas, Aaron Baddeley, K.J. Choi, Ryo Ishikawa and 2011 Masters winner Charl Schwartzel are at the top of their game right now.

    These golfers—and many other really good golfers from around the world—are making it tougher and tougher for Tiger to win golf tournaments.

    Woods isn't going to beat these guys if he isn't on top of his game.

Subtle and Not-so-Subtle Changes to Golf Courses to Make Them "Tiger Proof"

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    PONTE VEDRA BEACH, FL - MAY 12:  Tiger Woods hits his tee shot on the sixth hole during the first round of THE PLAYERS Championship held at THE PLAYERS Stadium course at TPC Sawgrass on May 12, 2011 in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. Woods withdrew after shoo
    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    Golf courses like Augusta National, Torrey Pines and many others made changes several years ago to try and make it harder for Tiger and other long hitters to easily dominate their courses.

    The courses—and the rough—have gotten longer on many courses, and bunkers have been placed in strategic locations that can punish long hitters whose shots are offline a bit.

    While doing things like lengthening courses to distances such as 7,600 yards didn't do much to stop Tiger when he was playing well, it is now taking its toll on his game.

    Woods isn't driving the ball as long or straight, and he is running into trouble more often because of it.

    While Tiger could overcome these obstacles when he was at his best, he isn't going to win many tournaments with his current level of play.

Other PGA Tour Golfers Are Not Intimidated by Tiger Woods Like They Used to Be

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    AUGUSTA, GA - APRIL 10:  Charl Schwartzel of South Africa celebrates his birdie on the 18th green with his caddie Greg Hearmon and winning the Masters during the final round of the 2011 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 10, 2011 in
    Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

    There was a time when just the mention of Tiger Woods' name would put fear into many PGA Tour golfers.

    Tiger was unbeatable when he was at his best, and he was barely beatable when he was a little off.

    That isn't the case any longer.

    Golfers know they can beat Tiger, and they haven't been shy about showing it.

    In the past when Tiger was winning and put on a surge like the final day of the 2011 Masters, other golfers would see his name moving up on the leaderboard and just collapse.

    Not any longer.

    Most golfers on the PGA Tour now know Tiger is just another golfer in the pack, and they know they can beat him if they play their best golf.

Tiger Woods Can Still Win on the PGA Tour, but He Has to Play a Lot Better

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    HOYLAKE, UNITED KINGDOM - JULY 23:  Tiger Woods of USA poses with the claret jug following his two shot victory at the end of the final round of The Open Championship at Royal Liverpool Golf Club on July 23, 2006 in Hoylake, England.  (Photo by David Cann
    David Cannon/Getty Images

    If Tiger Woods can get healthy and stay healthy, he will win a lot of golf tournaments in the future.

    At the moment, that seems to be a big if.

    Gone are the days when Woods could win on a bad week.

    Unless he can put injuries behind him and gets his swing where he wants it, he isn't going to win very many tournaments in the future.

    I think he definitely isn't going to win on the PGA Tour with his current "B" game.

    What do you think? Let me know in the comment section below.

    Follow me on Twitter, I am @garyburzell.