For years we knew Tiger Woods as Mr. Clutch, the guy that would come through when it counted most and blitz the field as he toted home yet another piece of hardware. But 2010 hasn't been anything like that. He went winless for the first time in his career. He struggled mightily with his game.
But what was the main factor? At the Chevron World Challenge on Sunday, Tiger entered the final round with a four-shot lead, but gave that away to Graeme McDowell, who eventually beat Woods in a playoff. His final tally after 18 holes on Sunday? A 1-over 73.
I started digging around and looking at some of his final rounds this year, and it's clear that on Sundays, Tiger really had a hard time closing.
His find-round scoring average in stroke play events this year on the PGA Tour was 71.25, the highest of his career. He had only finished above 70 twice since 2000 ('04 and '09), and never finished about 70.50 ever. This season, he really couldn't get those final rounds low enough.
Also, it's crazy how many rounds he finished over 72. In 12 stroke-play events this year, Tiger failed to break 72 half the time, or in six events. He hasn't had it that bad this decade, and that's after playing in 13-21 events per year.
Sure, his stats were down in all categories, but Sundays seemed to be a big struggle for Tiger. It might have been nerves, or just the pressure he was putting on himself to close out events, but the final round never seemed as easy as it used to for Woods.
Hopefully that stat will change in 2011.