Tiger Woods was once on top of the golfing world. While statistically he's still the No.1 player it sure doesn't feel like it anymore. After posting the worse score of his career at Firestone it sure seems like Tiger has hit rock-bottom after shooting a final round 77 for a total of 18-over par.
Tiger finished a tournament he's won 7 times at 18-over par.
I guess Tiger is human after all.
After his showing over the weekend the whispers of Tigers' demise have now become public proclamations. Is Tiger Woods finished?
The short answer is no. He's still a great player but he's not shown us any glimpses of that greatness since his 4th place finish at the US Open.
Let's be real people: What would you expect from Tiger Woods on a golf course considering all that he's had to endure?
Let's put this whole situation into perspective. Tiger Woods is the face of American sport. He's the No. 1 athlete in the world. He's a billionaire.
Tiger is a huge endorser of products which made him known around the world for his stellar golf game. Because he was such a huge figure he preached a tremendous need for privacy. He even named his yacht Privacy, for goodness sake.
Now we all have an idea of why he sought to keep his life private.
Furthermore, Tiger no longer has his father to lean on for support. His swing coach Hank Haney severed ties with him. He's now in the process of losing his family life as we once knew it.
We all know Tiger was teeing it up with a plethora of women other than his wife. We all know he's going through a divorce. We know he's not the guy we thought he was based on how the media socially engineered us to perceive him.
Guess what folks: Tiger Woods is only human.
Just think of it -- everyone in the world knows his business. Everyday he awakens he understands his life has been turned upside down from the choices he has made. Everyday he wakes up to deal with the fact he's shamed himself and his family. As a result his golf game is suffering.
Tiger is battling through his self-inflicted wounds from his "transgressions." He endured the embarrassment of reading an 11-minute speech for the world to see. Tiger now goes home to an empty house with is personal life and golf game in shambles.
Golf is a sport that requires you stay in the moment and focus. It requires a laser-like concentration on each shot. It requires knowing the course, having rhythmic balance with your swing and mental toughness.
Right now Tiger doesn't have it.
As fans we root for the underdog. We love it when people come back from adversity to reclaim their luster. Who ever would have thought that Tiger Woods would ever be an underdog?
Based on the latter, I think he's played exceptionally well. Based on what he's losing, I'm surprised he's even attempting to play. But Tiger will be back.
Remember what Kobe Bryant went through in 2003? He was on the brink of having his family broken because of the rape allegations from a Colorado woman. The allegations affected his family, his game and his reputation. With the passage of time Bryant is now a back-to-back champion. He's back in the good graces of the fans and he's happy.
Here's what you must realize: Tiger is the initial stages of reestablishing his new normal. He's in the midst of defining himself based on what he's lost.
While we love to see our heroes give us what we expect sometimes it's just not possible. It's not likely he'll soon reclaim his dominance that was never questioned. It's not likely he'll be viewed by fans the way he once was because of his transgressions. But with time he'll be just fine.
It's selfish to think of Tiger as a machine that can turn his talent on and off like a water faucet. It's not logical to expect his golf game to not be affected by his personal life. More importantly we can't expect Tiger to play like he once did and win based on what we know.
After all, he's only human.
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