Apr
30
2010
Tiger Misses the Fairways, Hits the Road
By Stephanie Wei under General

Hey ladies, good news — Tiger is available this weekend! For just the sixth time in his professional career, he missed the cut at the Quail Hollow Championship.

Turning on the TV to see Tiger slash his drive far right on the 14th hole was troublesome. And when his pitch into the green rolled into the water, it was just straight-up appalling. I had to rewind it to make sure I saw it correctly. Then as he stood over a five-footer, the words on the top right-hand corner showed up, “For Double Bogey.”

My God.

But what really blew me away was his three-putt on the 15th. Tiger Woods never gives up, right? Well, it looked like he did on Friday. From about four-feet, he jammed his putt for par the same distance passed the hole. Then he hurriedly went to slap in the comeback and it lipped out. Nonchalantly, he tapped in for the second straight double-bogey.

Good lord. Seriously.

He finished with a 43 on the back nine to shoot 79 for a two day total of nine-over, missing the cut by a mind-boggling eight strokes. On a day he only hit two fairways and needed 34 putts, he kept his cool. (Surprise!) There were no outbursts or club throws. He looked somewhat defeated — like he didn’t care and was finding humor in the situation, which is sometimes the best way to cope.

As he walked up 18, the telecast showed him sharing a laugh with Angel Cabrera. Unlike at the British Open last summer when he fired 71-75 and stormed off the course without giving an interview, he stopped to chat with reporters twice.

What went wrong?

“A lot of things,” he said. “I didn’t play that poorly on the front nine. My short game was terrible. I putted bad. I had two three-putts in a row and didn’t get up-and-down at 6. So that kind of hurt. I kind of battled my way back and had a good chance going into the back nine and missed carrying the bunker by about a foot on 10, probably should have made birdie and ended up making bogey and went from there.”

So was it rust or mechanics? “It is what it is,” he replied. “Whatever it was, it wasn’t good enough.”

In my opinion, it was a bit of both. But contrary to what many talking heads are saying, it is not the end of the Tiger era. I mean, come on! He had one bad tournament. Whatever. If I read one more article, questioning Tiger’s dominance, I might punch the wall. The dude finished tied for fourth at The Masters less than three weeks ago. And how would you play if over the past five months, all your dirty laundry was aired for the world to mock?

Even Tiger still has a sense of humor. “At least I get the weekend to watch and see how it’s done, how real players play golf, and hopefully I can piece it together for next week and be ready to go.” Probably not very well.

Let’s at least wait to see how he plays next week. If he missed two consecutive cuts, then perhaps the apocalypse is coming. For now, everyone calm down.