PALM BEACH, Fla. – Today actually marks the passing of one year since Tiger Woods last won a golf tournament.
He won the JBWere Masters in Australia on Nov. 15, 2009.
It might be the first time since Woods began playing competitively that he’s gone 365 days in a row without winning.
After the ADT Skills Challenge was over today, I asked Scott Verplank for some perspective on what PGA Tour pros think of Tiger’s winless year and where his game’s going. Verplank said what a lot of pros must be thinking but still might be wary of saying as they head into some down time before starting the 2011 season.
“All I know is that the world’s a lot different than it used to be,” said Verplank, a five-time PGA Tour winner. “As talented as Tiger is, I would suspect he’s going to find his golf game. But I think his shield of invincibility has been dissolved. I think it’s been dissolved some on the golf course, too.
“I don’t think guys are really all that worried about him. You’ve got to think about it. Let’s say he had 2,000 people out pulling for him two years ago on the course. Well, 1,999 of them are pulling as hard as they can for him. But now, if he’s got 2,000 people out following him, 1,000 people are telling jokes about him. You know that. He knows that. What’s that do to your self-esteem? Because he was on top of the world. He never did anything wrong. Obviously, nobody knew he lived a secret, double life, whatever.
“I would have to think the environment around him has changed so much that it’s going to take him a while to get used to it. But he’s talented. He’s still going to play good. He’s going to win more majors.
“If he’s on and plays up to the top of his ability, like he has in the past, he’s still going to be tough to beat, but I think the edge has worn off a little bit. I think there are more guys now who think `If I play good, I can beat him.’”