Inclement weather and long delays forced Tiger Woods to make it to the weekend, but for the third time in four majors, he missed the cut, posting a three-over 75 for a seven-over 36-hole total.
Woods, who cruised to victory at the Open at St Andrews in 2000 and 2005, only beat seven golfers, which included two guys, Sir Nick Faldo and Tom Watson, bidding farewell to the Old Course in ceremonial starts. (Meanwhile, Golf Channel analyst David Duval made the cut on the number with an even par.)
Did you ever think you’d see the day when Woods could not get himself around the Old Course?Woods looked and sounded defeated, like he doesn’t even believe his own B.S. he’s spewing anymore.
“I think I only made three birdies in two days,” said Woods. “That’s not very good. The golf course wasn’t playing that hard. I just didn’t get much out of any of the two rounds.”
Just a decade ago, the three-time Open champion and 14-time major champion made the walk up 18 and over the Swilcan bridge en route to a five-shot victory, solidifying his dominance in the game. Now, in 2015, he’s giving pep talks to the younger generation as he’s about to hop on his jet home.
“To have that kind of a warm reception coming up 18 is awfully special,” said Woods. “It’s one of the things I was talking about with Jason (Day, who is seven-under and only trailing by three shots). We were coming up 18, I said, it’s the greatest walk in golf. He says, yeah, it’s nice when you have an eight-shot lead, too. I said, well, you just go ahead and go get that lead. He’s playing well enough to do it.
“But there’s a lot of guys who have a chance to win. This golf course is definitely gettable. The greens are soft and receptive, and if you’re driving it well and driving it long, this golf course is very much gettable.”
Woods, who came into the week with a supposed renewed optimism after finishing T32 at a PGA Tour event that no one really cares about with a relatively week field, started the week with the same old tune — believing (or at least claiming that) he could contend.
“I felt like I was playing well enough to win this event,” he said. “On the very first hole on the first day, I fat a sand wedge in the water. I fatted my 3-iron off the tee, and then I fatted my 8-iron into the green on 2, drove it in a divot there on 4. It was just one thing after another. I had my opportunities, I just didn’t get the ball close enough, and then when I did, I didn’t make them.”
At this point, he might as well focus on simply making the cut.
“I’m just not scoring,” said Woods. “Every opportunity I have to make a key putt or hit an iron shot in there stiff with a short iron and get some momentum going, I haven’t done that. I haven’t gotten anything out of my rounds. I’ll hit good shots, I’ll string together some good shots and good holes and put myself in position to make a run, and I don’t do it.”
Because he’s no longer the same Tiger Woods that won three Claret Jugs or even the golfer that won five times in 2013.
“It’s frustrating, there’s no doubt, because I’m not making those runs,” said Woods when asked how he was dealing with his play on the inside. “To win major championships, I’ve always thought you needed to have two good nine-hole stretches. They don’t have to be in the same day, but you’ve got to have a nice run in there, and I haven’t done that at all.”
At the end of the day, Woods can only hope he’ll return and play a little better the next time the Open returns to the Old Course likely in 2021 to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the game’s oldest major.
“I’ve won here a couple times,” he said. “I wasn’t all that great in 2010. Obviously a little bit worse here in ’15. Next time it comes around, hopefully I play a little bit better than I did the last two times.”
Now, instead of trying to capture his 15th major, he can only hope to win his next event to get him qualified into the field for the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, where he’s won eight times — including the last event he claimed a victory in 2013.
“Keep going,” said Woods. “Keep going forward. I play in a couple weeks in D.C., so looking forward to playing the Quicken Loans, and hopefully win that event so I can get into a place that I know very well.”
At this point, he can only crack semi-funny jokes before he jets off into the sunset.
“I’ll probably have less hair then and hopefully a little better game,” said Woods, referring to the next time the Open will return to St Andrews.
Hopefully, but doubtful.
After all, if you haven’t heard, Tiger Woods is done.