"It's been a long year ... It's been a long year."
That, in a nutshell, is exactly where Tiger is, not only in his golf game, but his mental state, his personal life, and his entire well-being. You set stars like Tiger Woods up on such a pedestal, but you have to remember that even the most famous people in the world can be lonely and lost, and it seems that is where the world number one golfer is currently sitting.
His 18-over par finish is the worst of his career in a PGA Tour event, but it was probably more disappointing than the numbers indicated. Tiger never had anything to build on, and the frustration got to him over the weekend, when Woods would hit shots quick and without thinking, more of a punishment to himself than a disrespect to the game.
If we know Tiger as one thing, it's a fighter, but when you don't have any boxing gloves, a mouthpiece or headgear, it's tough to feel comfortable in the ring. Tiger took his beating at Firestone appropriately, and now will face the ongoing questions in just a few days, at the PGA Championship at Whistling Straits.
Someone joked on Twitter a couple of days ago that lucky for Tiger, Whistling Straits is a forgiving golf course, obviously a slight at the chances of contending at a pick-and-pop golf course that cannot be dominated without some sort of driving ability.
In Tiger's last 17 rounds, he's only been able to break 70 twice, and has finished at 74 or worse five times, including three this week. Once a fixture at the top of leaderboards, Tiger's average finish in his last three tournaments has been 49th, without anything positive to build on at any of them.
Maybe crazier than all of this is the possible decision that Corey Pavin might have to make after the PGA Championship. If Tiger doesn't play his way onto the team, which it sure seems like won't happen, Pavin might be the guy that has to pick around Tiger Woods, the match play legend. At this point, would you blame him?
- Tiger Woods