A lot of people are coming down hard on Tiger Woods after his poor performance in the final round of the 2013 British Open. Woods started the day just two strokes off the lead and he really played well up until Sunday. But for whatever reason, Tiger just didn’t have it in the final round of the Open. After another disappointing finish in a major, it’s fair to wonder if he’ll ever get back to his old self.
The thing that you have to keep in mind when talking about Tiger is that he’s held to ridiculous standards. Fans expect him to win major championships on a regular basis because that’s how good he once was. The expectations of him today are not necessarily fair, because we do compare him to the greatest of all-time Jack Nicklaus, but that’s the standard Tiger set.
It once seemed like a foregone conclusion that Woods would break Nicklaus’ record of 18 major championships, but it’s now been over five years since Tiger has placed first in one. It’s no longer just media speculation that makes this a story, five years is a long time for an athlete. Woods is now 37 and clearly on the backside of his career. However, the backside of Woods’ career will still be better than nearly anyone’s before him.
I believe Tiger will set new standards for older players if he continues to play periodically as he ages. We see golfers that were far less popular than Tiger that are still hanging around the tour. If Woods wants to, he’s going to be able to stick around as long as he pleases. For that reason alone, he’s not done winning majors. At some point down the road he’s going to get hot for four days in a row and win another one – he’s too good not to.
Woods has no doubt come back to Earth, but yet he’s still the world’s No. 1 golfer and he just finished in the top 10 of the Open Championship. Just think of it this way – how many people would be saying that Tiger is back if he had won the Open?
Overall, Woods has had a tremendous 2013 with four wins in 10 events. He’s playing really good golf right now and it’s only a matter of time before he gets the major monkey off his back. At the same time, it’s difficult to see him winning five more of them to pass Nicklaus.
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