Tiger Woods has won 79 tournaments in his elongated PGA Tour career and he’s missed 10 cuts. Good ratio, eh?
This week, at Congressional Country Club for the Quicken Loans National golf tournament, Tiger struggled. He did. His short game was beyond subpar, his accuracy with his irons was very hit-and-miss, and his fairway percentage wasn’t great. But did his back struggle? No sir.
That’s what golf fans — and Tiger fans for that matter — need to take from this week. He said he had no tweaks, no twinges, no nothing, which is a fantastic sign. If Tiger is healthy, he will always have a chance and obviously oddsmakers in Vegas believe that as well as they’re putting him at the favorite to win the British Open at Hoylake.
Is that a smart move by the oddsmakers? Depends on how you look at it. Last time the British was played at Hoylake, Tiger won. But the course will be different this year. It won’t be as firm and it won’t be as fast. It won’t allow Tiger to lay back with his 5 wood and allow the ball to roll, and roll, and roll.
To many, that’ll be pretty discouraging. But don’t look at it like that, please don’t. Tiger Woods is the best golfer in the world. Look what he did last year. He did win 5 tournaments. He did win the Players and a few of the other premier tournaments on the tour. He can still win a major, so why can’t it be at Hoylake.
Has Tiger ever lived down to expectations? Nope. He does everything we don’t expect. Did we expect him to make the putt to force a playoff with Rocco Mediate on a torn ACL? Nope. Did we expect Tiger to beat Rocco in that 18-hole playoff? Nope. Did we expect Tiger to make the impossible chip at the Masters? Nope. Did we expect Tiger to go on a long major drought for 6 years? Certainly not.
Okay, you get it, you can’t expect much from Tiger. Except confidence.
Even if you’re not confident, you know Tiger is. He expects to win. He expects to be healthy. So have a little confidence in him, please.
If 14 majors doesn’t stand the test of evidence, then nothing will. Give him a month to prove to the world that he is the most polarizing figure in sport.