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Tiger Woods: The Transformation Was Short-Lived

Michael FitzpatrickFeatured ColumnistApril 12, 2010

AUGUSTA, GA - APRIL 11:  Tiger Woods waits to play his tee shot on the third hole during the final round of the 2010 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 11, 2010 in Augusta, Georgia.  (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
David Cannon/Getty Images

Last week at Augusta National Tiger Woods changed his stripes…well, at least for a few days.

“When I do return [to golf], I need to make my behavior more respectful of the game,” Woods said during his February 19th speech at the PGA Tour Headquarters in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.

“I'm actually going to try and obviously not get as hot when I play,” Woods said during his press conference last Monday at Augusta National.

“But then again, when I'm not as hot, I'm not going to be as exuberant, either. I can't play one without the other, and so I made a conscious decision to try and tone down my negative outbursts and consequently I'm sure my positive outbursts be will calmed down, as well.  Just trying to be more respectful of the game and acknowledge the fans like I did today,” Woods continued.

Okay, so he acknowledged the galleries during his practice rounds.  

He talked to the media like a gentleman rather than a cranky five-year-old.

And he came across as humble and cordial during his Monday afternoon press conference.

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Perhaps Woods really had changed.

Who are we to say that a man can or cannot change his ways?

Aaand then he double crossed his tee shot on the par-three sixth hole on Saturday afternoon and the old Woods reared its ugly temper.

“Tiger Woods, you suck! God dammit!” Woods yelled on live television as he slammed his club on the ground.

“Some things apparently haven’t changed,” was how Verne Lundquist described the situation.

As usual, this outburst was followed by a few minutes of pouting as Woods made his way from the sixth tee box to the green.  

Woods’ temper was once again on full display for much of the day on Saturday, and by Sunday, he was right back to his childish, irritable, pre-fire hydrant ways.

“I think people are making way too much of a big deal of this thing,” Woods snapped at Peter Kostis when asked about his outbursts after his round on Sunday. “I was not feeling good. I hit a big snipe off the first hole and I don't know how people can think I should be happy about that.”

Okay, but there’s just one problem with that statement—Woods was the one who made such a big deal about changing his ways in the first place.

Not to mention that every other great player in the game’s long and illustrious history has hit bad shots at one time or another, yet they’ve been able to control their tempers out of respect for a game that is widely regarded as a gentleman’s game.

“Did you learn anything?” was what the voice of Earl Woods’ asked Tiger during the odd yet intriguing Nike ad that premiered last week.

The answer?

Not yet.

Tiger Woods did indeed change his ways last week at the Masters; the only problem was that this miraculous transformation lasted for all of 120 hours.

Check out The Tour Report's Monday Backspin Blog to find out how Mickelson's shot on 13 will define his career.

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