January 30, 2011
It started out with promise, but Tiger Woods' first tournament of 2011 ended a lot like his first tournament of 2010; tons of hype, some good play early, but in the end, a disappointment.
Tiger shot rounds of 74-75 on the weekend at the Farmers Insurance Open, landing in 44th place, his worst finish ever at Torrey Pines. We've heard for weeks that Tiger's golf swing is back (even Phil Mickelson mentioned it before the week started), but it seemed the entire time that Tiger was searching for something that wasn't there.
He didn't make a bogey on Thursday, threw three bogeys at us on Friday before bouncing back for a first-round matching 69, but things were never there on Saturday and Sunday. None of his stats were horrible from the week, but when Tiger is hitting the ball like Tiger used to hit the ball, he was always near the top of greens in regulation, a stat he's struggled with the last couple of years.
On top of that, he just doesn't look that comfortable. His golf swing shows signs of greatness occasionally, but it still needs major fixing. As any golfer knows, you can hit millions of golf balls on the range with a new swing, but until you can take it to the golf course, it isn't ready.
The week was supposed to be a huge one for Woods. He was coming back to a place he has dominated in the past, and the hype was strong, but it was another golf tournament where Tiger's play never got him in the conversation. Next week he goes to another golf course in Dubai that Woods has had a ton of success at, but with the way Tiger's playing, it doesn't seem to be the venue or the past wins; it's all about how he's hitting the ball, and right now, that just isn't good enough.