Tiger Breaks Out of Whatever-You-Call-It


He must be back. He won a seven-hole playoff last week, and that says something about the guy.
What does it say? Well, that he doesnt give up easily. That he wasnt satisfied with just reaching the playoff. That he was willing to go an extra hour, or two or three, to get the win.
And, it might have said that he is winning with regularity again.
Tiger Woods is a complex individual indeed. Dont mention the S word (slump) around him if you know which side of the bread the toast is buttered on. But he was in something that was less than Tiger-like the past three months.

It manifested itself right after he won the Memorial the first weekend in June, just before he went into the U.S. Open. For five tournaments starting with Open, he piddled around looking for a Tiger Woods swing. His finishes werent at all bad for someone who is not Tiger. For Tiger, they were simply unacceptable.
If youre playing golf courses that are that difficult and your swing is not quite on, youre going to be penalized he said by way of explanation. That wasnt a slump, mind you. Anyone who thinks that was a slump just doesnt know golf, he says.
The U.S. Open is not exactly an easy golf course where you can spray it all over the lot and shot 62s and 63s, Tiger said, hoping to shed some further light on what went wrong the last five events. You have to be able to put the ball in play on the correct sides of the fairway, put the ball underneath the holes and shape shots correctly. I was not able to do that.
Were talking Tiger here, who found precious little he could not do in the 2 years previous when he won 21 tournaments. He did everything spotlessly except iron his own shirts. He was looking virtually unreal when suddenly he came back down to earth with a thud. At least it was a thud to Woods.
He still was doing some things at a very high level. He putted very well in his time of struggle, which was something he didnt do particularly well earlier this year when he was racing out to four wins.
If I would not have putted well, it would have been interesting, he added. But I hung in there, and then I started putting it all together again this week (when he won the WGC-NEC).
What Mister Woods is trying to tell us is that he is not RoboGolfer. Do you believe it? I think I do now, although I certainly didn't before his, er, struggles. He is a very good player, but apparently he isnt God-like in his ability to handle a golf club, after all. If you thought so before the last 2 months, you probably assumed like me that he was in a slump. If you believed he was merely a very good golfer, then you wont have any problem with this recent bit of substandard (for Tiger) play.
Anyway, the struggle is apparently over, according to Woods. His swing has magically reappeared. The wins have started coming again. Everything is in order, he says.
A lot of times, people who say that really dont understand how fickle this game is, said Tiger. They think you can play well all the time.
I wish that were the case. If that were the case, you would see a guy shooting 62s and 61s every day, but thats not the case. This game is very difficult, and a lot of different things can happen. A lot of factors are involved. Even the best players in the world are going to go through phases where they just really are not playing as well.
Thats what I thought the word slump meant, you are really not playing as well. But lets not quibble over semantics. Tiger Woods is very good. There is nothing wrong with saying that.
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