Tiger Woods: Are the Talks of His Demise Warranted?

Alex SandersonCorrespondent IIIAugust 18, 2011

SHANGHAI, CHINA - NOVEMBER 08:  Tiger Woods of the USA looks despondent after a bunker shot on the seventh hole during the final round of the WGC - HSBC Champions at Sheshan International Golf Club on November 8, 2009 in Shanghai, China.  (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

The last golf tournament Tiger Woods won came all the way back in mid-November of 2009 at the JBWere Masters. After winning multiple tournaments every year between 1996 and 2009, he now seems like just an average professional golfer at best.

Woods just recently came back from a left knee injury, and has played two subpar tournaments. His result at the PGA Championship last week was one of the worst he's ever had a major, shooting a 150 over two rounds and missing the cut.

While Woods showed some glimpses of his old self last week, especially early in Round 1, it's not going to be easy for him to:

1. Get back to the level he showed throughout the late 90s and most of the 2000s, and

2. Break Jack Nickluas' record.

Sure, Woods is dealing with having a new caddie and swing in coming back from his injury. Those things should work themselves out with practice and time, however.

The biggest problem for Woods is probably going to be in the mental aspect of the game. Once you have given away a mental edge like he has, it's extremely hard to get back. The game of golf is probably more mental than any other professional sport.

Another factor that you can add to a recurring knee problem and a tough mental state due to personal issues and a long drought on the golf course is father time.

At the age of 35, Woods is now past the point where most of the top golfers start to see their best days pass them by. The game has seen its fair of youngsters start to make their push during Woods' drought, including the assumed heir apparent, Rory McIIroy.

Luckily for much of the golf world who feels that the game needs Woods (scandal and all), he has a major reason to keep giving it everything he has. His 14 major tournament wins is second all time, four behind Nicklaus, still something he has his sights on.

As abysmal as the last 16 months or so has been for Woods, it would only be fair to give one of the best athletes of all time a chance to prove he can right the ship. His play has not been up to standards of late, but he seems poised to put it all behind him and make a new start.

The struggles will only fuel Woods more to try to get his mojo back. With that in mind, he should be given another year of play to see if his demise is legitimate or if he is just going through a rough stretch.