The only good coming from Tiger Woods’ return to competition at the Quicken Loans National is that his back seems to be holding up well after hitting a variety of shots. Woods needed nearly every shot in the bag because of a wayward driver, and he missed the cut by four strokes with rounds of 74-75 (+7).
Statistically, Tiger didn’t drive the ball too poorly at 57.14% accuracy (T53). However, he missed the fairways by a wide margin, which led to a GIR of 55.56% (T92). The only way to make up for a lackluster ball-striking week is to putt lights out, but Tiger’s short-game was also rusty. He finished 106th in the field for strokes gained putting.
What does all this mean for Woods?
Successful golfers have a short memory when it comes to playing poorly. Tiger understands his game is a work in progress, and if his back feels good, then he should be motivated by his performance. He has a better idea of what to work on, and will be able to push his body as he gets ready for the Open with a vigorous practice schedule.
The Open Championship begins three weeks from yesterday. Woods won at Hoylake in 2006, and I believe he can do it again as long as he puts the driver away, and sharpens his short-game.