Will Tiger Woods Ever Be the Golfer He Used to Be? Fan Perspective

At the end of 2011, I was asked if I thought that 2012 would be the year for Tiger Woods. Unfortunately I didn't think that it would be and after seeing him play at the 2012 Masters this weekend (April 5-8), I am even more sure that we may never see Tiger back to the golfer he used to be.

There is no doubt that Tiger is one of golf's greatest players. However, he started out young and seems to have run out of steam. He has struggled with his swing and his putting over the last few years. As a player who you could always count on to be at the top of the leaderboard, Tiger has struggled some weeks to even make the cut.

But, swings can be worked on and a little time at the putting green can help as well. And Tiger has shown improvement on some weeks, however, his biggest battle seems to be inconsistency. But I don't think this has anything to do with his game mechanics but more to do with his mental state.

As we grow up, we tend to learn how to deal with pressure. The tantrums from our childhood stop and we learn to cope. Unfortunately for Tiger, this doesn't seem to be the case. Much like a young child, Tiger is unable to cope when he is not on the top of the leaderboard. A bad shot and he is throwing or kicking his clubs.

This was what we watched at the 2012 Masters and I believe it is his inability to handle loss and imperfection that is giving Tiger's golf game the biggest problem. Tiger is used to winning. He is used to being on top and this struggle is something he does not know how to handle.

While everyone says that Tiger will work on his swing and he will get his game back, I don't think the swing is where he needs to focus. In my opinion, Tiger is never ever going to get back to the top of the leaderboard on a regular basis until he learns that he is not perfect and he won't win all the time.

Unfortunately, I don't think Tiger ever learned the lesson that so many of us teach our children. The lesson that winning is not everything but it's how you play the game. When Tiger can learn that and go out with the idea of doing his best and not focusing on only getting the win, then and only then, may we see the return of the old Tiger Woods.

Deborah Braconnier is a former athlete and has followed golf since she was a child. She can hit the fairway from the tee, but personally her short game needs some work. Working now as a freelance writer, she brings her love for sports to her writing. Follow her on Twitter @fwcdeborah.

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