Tiger missed the cut last week ' you already know that. It was one of the greatest upsets in the history of golf ' yes, I said history of golf ' when he couldnt survive to play the final two rounds at the Funai Classic. It was in his hometown of Orlando, at a place where he had already won two times, Disney.
His houseguest for the week, old Stanford teammate Notah Begay, must have been shocked. Begay made the cut. Tiger didnt! But ' Tiger handled it beautifully.
He had hardly seen an MC (missed cut) in his career. Oh, there was that time in Canada in his second year as a pro ' but Tiger wasnt really TIGER WOODS yet, and we figured that was a sometime thing. Then he didnt miss one for seven years and we realized that this was a once-in-a-blue-moon happening. But it happened at the Byron Nelson - that was a pretty good tournament, you know ' and he missed by just one shot.
Then came the Funai Classic. And he missed again. Perhaps never has golf been presented with such a dubious circumstance. He missed not just by one shot, but by three.
And when it was over, do you think he whined? Do you think he alibied? Do you think he made excuses?
Uh-uh. He blamed himself ' totally. He didnt blame the amateur partners. He didnt blame a bad break, he didnt blame the courses ' he took the blame squarely upon his own shoulders.
The problem, he said, was painfully obvious ' he had a two-way miss going, and he never could correct it. By two-way, he meant he was missing both way left and way right. 'You can't aim a two-way miss, even if those fairways are 300 yards wide,' he said. 'If you get it hitting both ways, it's tough to play..'
He gave us absolutely no high-and-mighty folderol ' none. He, in his own mind, was just another schmoe who had missed the cut. And ' good for him! He talked, he smiled once or twice, he did interviews when asked ' he was just about as average a guy as he could be. And - oh ' if it helps any, Vijay Singh and Chris DiMarco missed the cut, too.
Tiger was trying a new driver for a couple of days. Obviously the old one is back in his bag now.
My driving wasn't very good, said Woods. The only thing I did well was, I putted well. I just could not get it (the driver) right.
I've hit it left so many times and all of a sudden I hit it two-way right. It goes both ways.
I think it's just the driver. It does work ' unfortunately, I didn't have the swing to make it work. My swing was so bad that it just wasn't working at all.
It was impressive, to say the least. Back at the Nelson, though, he reacted similarly when he missed the cut. I just didnt have it today, he said, simply enough.
You've got to give it everything you've got, got to have some good breaks along the way and I've definitely had my share, he had said then.
The tour has simply become too competitive for anyone ' even Tiger Woods ' to make it through 142 events without missing a cut. That was Woods streak for seven years. But one thing the missed cuts do ' they give us a chance to see Tiger when something goes wrong. And, you know, what we have seen is pretty good stuff. This guy can take heartbreak with the best of them.
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