The Golf Blog: Why Tiger Woods may be in deep trouble

mulligan, 02 February 2011, Comments Off on The Golf Blog: Why Tiger Woods may be in deep trouble
Categories: Uncategorized

The Golf Blog says: In the recent past, we’ve been optimistic about Tiger Woods’s chance to beat Jack Nicklaus’s record of 18 majors. If you look at The Golf Blog’s chart Tiger v. Jack, Tiger is still ahead of Jack’s pace to 18 majors and even if Tiger doesn’t get another major this year, Tiger would need to win 2 majors in the next four years (or 2 out of the next 16 majors) to keep even pace with Jack. Given Tiger’s past performance, the odds seems pretty good.

But then we watched Tiger last week–and also the competition. Granted, Tiger’s going through a major swing change with Sean Foley. But the time that it will take for Tiger to “click” with his new swing is unknown. In the past, it took a good part of the golf season, if not more.

First, let’s take a look at Tiger’s game. Tiger’s stats from last week raise some reason for concern, especially in putting and greens hit:

Tiger Woods
32nd in driving distance (296 yards)
172 in driving accuracy (44.64%)
117th in total driving (204)
119th in greens hit (66.67%)
151st in putting (1.813)
153rd in birdies (3.25)
96th in scoring (71.40)
65th in sandies (54.55)
142d in all-round ranking (889)

Tiger did beat Phil Mickelson in the driving and sandies categories, but Phil bested Tiger in the more crucial categories of greens hit, putting, birdies, and scoring.

Phil Mickelson
127th driving distance (281.5)
182d driving accuracy (39.29%)
176th total driving (309)
23rd in greens hit (76.39%)
12th in putting (1.673)
6th in birdies (5.50)
2nd in scoring (67.92)
83rd in sandies (50%)
40th in all-around ranking (536)

Tiger has won 5 times at Torrey Pines, so the stats are pretty disappointing. For the first time, Tiger’s short game and putting seemed downright balky.

Second, and more worrisome, the talent level of the new crop of golfers like Jonatton Vegas, Anthony Kim, Graeme McDowell, Bubba Watson, and Rory Mcilroy is going up. All of these golfers are pretty fearless. Is it fair to say that Tiger intimidates none of them? Shoot, Rory has already giving Tiger some smack talk before the Ryder Cup–and the Euros ended up winning. Whereas in the past, we might expect Ernie Els, Phil Mickelson, Davis Love, Vijay Singh, and the field to succumb to Tiger’s pressure, that probably won’t be the case with the new guns on tour. Indeed, when rookie Brendan Steele calls out Tiger Woods for phoning it in on Sunday (“I don’t think he gave it ­everything today.”), you know it’s a new day on the PGA Tour. What’s scary for Tiger is, after his injury/surgery and sex scandal, his game is worse, but the competition is better.


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