It was a tough day for Tiger Woods in the first round of the Greenbrier Classic. Woods started on the back nine and quickly got to 2-under-par, but his round went downhill after that. A terrible double-bogey on the 17th hole helped Woods shoot a 71, good for a score of 1-over-par for the round.
On a day in which many golfers were comfortably putting up red numbers, Tiger dug himself a big hole in his attempt for a second straight win. If he doesn't pull out a strong second round, he could be completely out of the mix. What does that mean for Tiger and his game? If a win at the AT&T National is enough for people to say that he is back, what would a disastrous finish at the Greenbrier mean to those same people? In the grand scheme of things, it shouldn't matter much.
What we are seeing from Tiger shouldn't shock us. He is going to give us some strong performances. In four rounds at Congressional, Tiger had just five bogeys and no doubles. There is no denying the fact that he was sharp in that event. But for every good tournament that Tiger has, he is just as likely to have a difficult one. After one round at the Greenbrier, he already has three bogeys and a double. Everything that was working for him at Congressional is not working for him now. This is a perfect example of why Tiger is as back as he is ever going to get. He can do some good and he can do some bad, much like everyone else on the Tour.
Tiger could rebound and produce a strong second round. However, we shouldn't expect that. He's not a guy that can just turn it on at will anymore. Tiger is still having a solid year. He has three wins and ranks high in greens hit, driving accuracy, and scoring average. He is definitely a guy that has a shot to win any major. However, fans are kidding themselves if they think he isn't capable of turning in bad rounds. We have seen him do it plenty of times over the last three years.
If Tiger shoots a 65 in the second round, I wouldn't be surprised. I wouldn't be surprised if he shoots a 75, either. That is the reality of Tiger's game, and I don't see it changing. That's not a knock on him because every other golfer on the planet is in the same boat. I just hope that his performance in the first round here doesn't trigger any talk about what is wrong with his game. The simple answer is that Tiger isn't automatic anymore.* - Mark Paul is an avid golf fan. He has watched and played the game since high school.
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