The PLAYERS > Challenging Course Exposes Tiger’s Problems

| May 10, 2015
Tiger Woods shows frustration on course at TPC Saturday. USA Today Photo

Tiger Woods shows frustration on course at TPC Saturday. USA Today Photo

Chip Harp, Valdosta Today Sports

PONTE VEDRA BEACH — Pete Dye’s creation of the Stadium Course at the TPC Sawgrass complex can be termed in many ways.  The design allows for great fan viewing, including the incredible hole complex at 16 and 17 which looks more like a stadium than golf course.

The combination of water, bunkers, and small grass mounds which guard each hole can expose the slightest mistakes for those players attempting to earn what many call golf’s fifth major.

One of those players exposed on Saturday was Tiger Woods.

The player whose destiny seemed to be to become golf’s greatest major champion, now finds it hard to make cuts.  After earning the opportunity to play on the weekend, Woods entered Saturday’s play earlier than he would have liked (as the better players tee off later in the day after Friday’s cut).

Woods, once golf’s undisputed number one player, is now a lowly 125th in world rankings.  He has worked to overcome personal issues, reputation damage, a relationship breakup, and master a new swing.  It all adds up to a toxic combination for his golf game.

He finished Saturday with a disappointing 3-shots over par 75 including double-bogeys on two par 5’s and a 40 on the front nine.  As always, Woods battles and could have taken solace from a solid one-under 35 on the back.  But he wasn’t taking solace.

As he left the course and entered the scoring house off of the 18th green, Woods was expected to make an appearance at the media interview area outside the door of the scoring house.  The PGA requires golfers, regardless of how poorly they play, to respect the media and offer a few comments.

In a show of both frustration and defiance, Tiger stormed past the gathered media refusing to offer an explanation for his round.  One reporter actually jumped into Woods’ path, asking him, “You’re not even going to speak to us?”

Woods gave no reply as he entered the clubhouse to prepare to leave the course.  Even other players made comments as to Woods’ behavior to themselves.  His poor play was not an excuse to them to defy tour rules.

The man once destined to achieve golf’s loftiest status, now has to question, not whether he will break the record of Jack Nicklaus, but whether he’ll even win another tournament.

Certainly not on a course as demanding as TPC Sawgrass.

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1 Comment on "The PLAYERS > Challenging Course Exposes Tiger’s Problems"

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  1. Pancho Rambeaux says:

    Giggle, giggle, snort, snort… Meanwhile, Masters Champion Jordan Spieth missed the cut. So much for the already crowned new king of golf. Write something about that, it seems like Tiger is old news. But it must feel good to kick a person while he is down, eh Chip?