July 06, 2010
After four long days at the AT&T National event in Pennsylvania, Tiger Woods was probably looking forward to some leisurely golf at a charity event. The fact is, Woods was offering up his service to the JP McManus Invitational Pro-Am, because, as Tiger put it on his website, "Like my own foundation, I understand the importance and necessity of raising funds to help deserving individuals."
That all sounds dandy, but Tiger was staying at a billionaire's mansion, a thousand miles away from Florida and Elin and the constant PGA Tour grumble. This event had nothing to do with Official Golf Rankings or FedEx Cup points or another week without a win. It was a charity event, and Tiger was going to log some much needed practice for the upcoming British Open at St. Andrews.
Or, so we thought. Tiger's opening round on Monday was as devastating for his golf game as his 72 holes the week prior, where Woods failed to break par in any of the rounds. Tiger had six bogeys and a double-bogey on his way to a seven-over 79, tying him for 48th out of 54 professionals (to Tiger's defense, it should be noted that the leaders of a very elite group of pros were just one-under, so the conditions must have been tough).
Tiger hit three balls in hazards, including his second shot into the par-5 18th, and nailed one of the 40,000 spectators out watching the event. Judging by some of the reaction shots of Tiger's round, it appeared that while it wasn't that serious of a contest, he can tell how bad his golf swing is.
To be fair, if we are going to sit here and blast Tiger, we do have to give the facts of what he had to deal with. Tiger left Sunday after his final round, flew across the ocean only to tee it up at 8:00 AM on Monday. For all we know, he had never played on or practice for one minute at Adare Manor Golf Resort, so we shouldn't expect him to be that comfortable on the golf course. And finally, it was a charity event, and I'm sure the normal Tiger-focus was lacking, as noted by one report of Tiger walking over to a snack bar and chomping on some hamburgers during play.
The event will wrap on Tuesday, and for Tiger's sake, we hope the score improves.