If Tiger Woods has learned anything from his three rounds at Firestone, it's that a quick comeback probably isn't in the cards. Following a 2-under 68 on Thursday that included some incredible scrambling and solid putting, Woods showed up on Friday and produced the kind of rusty round we expected from a guy coming off a three-month layoff.
Going off early on Saturday due to potential weather in the area, Woods had a chance to go out in the first group and post a low number for the rest of the field to match. But it wasn't in the cards, as he carded a 2-over 72 round that was a mixed bag of errant drives and precision irons.
The most glaring numbers from Woods' round were his lack of accuracy off the tee, and his putter that remained cold for the second day in a row. Hitting half your fairways, as he did on Friday, is something Woods can live with, but on Saturday it was a paltry 29 percent, a number that was his worst of the week.
He also needed 33 putts, which was four more than his highest number for the week. Let's be honest here, you can't say his struggles over the last two rounds will translate into poor success at the PGA Championship -- which is what Woods is working towards at the moment.
But if there were two things you can't struggle with at major championships and expect to contend, it's accuracy off the tee and putting. A lot of the talk prior to this week was how Woods' injuries had hampered his game.
We figured that when Woods showed up and proclaimed the injuries were healed that things would change. But for at least three rounds, Woods looks like the same guy we saw when he hobbled off the course at the Players Championship.
Sure, the knee is healed, but his game remains the same. Woods is rusty, and he'll continue to be rusty for the next couple of tournaments. That's not to say he can't put a couple of good rounds together next week in Atlanta, but if you really expect him to contend, you're crazy.
Woods is one of the greatest golfers in the game, but this is one time where only time and logging rounds on the course will help him get better.
Sunday's round will most likely be more of the same, but if there's one silver lining from this week, it's that Woods is back on the course with a healthy knee. That's about as much as you can ask for at this point.
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