After Further Review: Tiger leaves us all wondering ... what's next?


Each week, takes a look back at the week in golf. In this edition of After Further Review, our writers weigh in on Tiger Woods' career-worst round of 85 and where he goes from here, the problem with U.S. Open qualifying, Suzann Pettersen's return to the winner's cirlce and David Lingmerth taking down Justin Rose at the Memorial.

This was what Tiger Woods said on Feb. 11, when he announced that he was taking what would amount to a nearly two-month break from the game: “My play, and scores, are not acceptable for tournament golf. I enter a tournament to compete at the highest level, and when I think I’m ready, I’ll be back.”

This quote seems even more relevant now, after Woods shot his worst score as a pro (85) and the highest 72-hole total of his legendary career at the Memorial.

Is his play and score acceptable? Is he competing at the highest level?

Taking another break from the game is essentially waving the white flag, but you can’t help but wonder how much longer this will continue. Playing bad golf is embarrassing. His confidence has to be at an all-time low, no matter how well he’s talking his way around his issues.

He may have temporarily fixed his short-game woes, but now his long game has sprung a leak, too. It must be exhausting, plugging all of the holes, waiting for the next problem to surface. At this point, would another break even help? - Ryan Lavner

A week after Tiger Woods posted an 82 at Scottsdale, he hobbled off Torrey Pines with stiffness in his back and announced he wouldn’t return to competitive play until his game was tournament-ready.

What, then, are we to make of an 85?

With the way Tiger is spraying it off the tee, unless he’s putting and chipping at his very best – golf’s all-time best – mammoth numbers seem in play every time he tees it up.

Chambers Bay looms as Mike Davis’ newest monster. Whistling Straits has 83,264 bunkers fans are allowed to walk through. (I hear you, DJ.)

If Woods is capable of shooting in the 80s at Scottsdale and Muirfield, the latter a venue on which he’s won five times, what could happen on two quirky major championship tracks? - Nick Menta

The USGA clings to the notion that they host the game’s most democratic major championship, as Monday’s U.S. Open sectional qualifying demonstrates. But the way this year’s field is shaping up, it might be time for a change.

The last two PGA Tour winners, Steven Bowditch who won last week’s AT&T Byron Nelson and David Lingmerth who survived a three-hole playoff on Sunday at the Memorial, do not currently have a tee time at Chambers Bay in two weeks.

Both are signed up to play Monday’s 36-hole qualifier in Columbus, Ohio, and could punch their tickets, but that doesn’t change the fact that the USGA’s Open is feeling more like a closed shop to the game’s top players. - Rex Hoggard 

Move Suzann Pettersen up to favorite’s status at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship this week. Butch Harmon liked what he saw in Pettersen Sunday winning the Manulife LPGA Classic. It was her first victory since they teamed up in December. He loves seeing where Pettersen’s headed next, too. He loves seeing that she’s going to a major at Westchester Country Club. “My old stomping grounds,” Butch said. “It will be a good course for her, the way she’s driving it.”

Butch’s father, Claude, was the head pro at Winged Foot, about 20 minutes away from Westchester. Claude won a bunch of events at Westchester, including nine Westchester Opens and Westchester PGAs. It was almost Butch’s backyard playground, too. As a team, Pettersen/Harmon should be formidable again this week. - Randall Mell 

It’s been a tough year for playoff underdogs on the PGA Tour. First Daniel Berger came up short at PGA National, then Johnson Wagner got edged out in Houston and Kevin Kisner lost a pair of playoffs within a month. That trend turned around Sunday at the Memorial, where David Lingmerth took down one of the Tour’s top players to earn his maiden win.

Lingmerth gives up almost a foot in height to Justin Rose and certainly lacks the credentials of the former U.S. Open champ, but on this day, on this course, it didn’t matter. The Swede was able to steady his nerves when he had to, especially over a do-or-die par putt on the first extra hole, and ultimately was the last man standing.

David scored a win for, well, the Davids of the world, and showed that in a sudden-death setting, even Goliath can be toppled every once in a while. -Will Gray