The Golf Blog says: Tiger Woods is only a few months back after his microdiscectomy back surgery, so he deserves a little bit of leeway. He finished +6 and 69th out of 72 places for the tourney, his worst 72-hole finish at a major, though 2 shots better than US Open champion Martin Kaymer. No one really expected Tiger to be in contention (even after his impressive opening round 69), not after just 1 competitive tournament after his back surgery. It was a feat that Tiger even made the cut.
But if you look at Tiger’s body of work since he last won a major in 2008, there’s reason for alarm. Tiger is in the longest major drought of his career–6 years and running. The only time Jack Nicklaus had a 6 year drought was at the end of his career, during the ages of 40 to 46 years old. Tiger’s major slump has coincided with what should have been still his prime years, 32 to 38 years. (Click here for the chart.) By comparison, Phil Mickelson won majors at age 33, 35, 36, 39, and 43. If Tiger doesn’t win a major this or next year, he’ll have squandered his 30s.
After 25-year-old Rory McIlroy won the British Open wire-to-wire for his third major, one cannot help but get the sense that the door is closing on Tiger Woods’ quest to beat Jack Nicklaus’s record of 18 majors. Tiger’s no longer ahead of Jack’s pace of winning majors. If things continue the way they are, Tiger will soon fall behind Jack’s pace. The thought of Tiger rattling off 5 more major wins seems almost impossible right now, with the way that Tiger’s driver continues to be a weakness (not to mention, the bevy of talented players who have won or appear to be ready to win majors, including Rory, Adam Scott, Bubba Watson, Justin Rose, Martin Kaymer, Keegan Bradley, Jordan Spieth, Rickie Fowler, Jason Day). The so-called “Big Miss” with the driver that former coach Hank Haney infamously wrote about (but couldn’t fix) still seems to plague Tiger under current coach Sean Foley.
Tiger’s swing does look more balanced, less violent, but long-time critic Brandel Chamblee says the backswing is way too short now. We’re in no position to tell whether Chamblee’s criticism is valid (the swing is shorter, but not sure that’s necessarily worse). But we do know that Tiger doesn’t drive the ball with the ease and flow of many of the top players, such as Rory McIlroy, Adam Scott, Martin Kaymer, Sergio Garcia, Dustin Johnson, and Phil Mickelson.
And we have to wonder whether, after 4 years and no majors under Sean Foley, it’s time for Tiger Woods to hit the “reset” button and return back to Butch Harmon. If Lebron James can reconcile with Cavs owner Dan Gilbert and return back to his roots in Cleveland, surely Tiger Woods can make up with Butch and go back to the swing that brought him the most success.
It's time for Tiger to go back to Butch…..http://t.co/rz1FRU5OS4
— Jim Pence (@PenceJames) July 21, 2014