Make no mistake about it – when Tiger Woods is on top of his game, he’s not only the best player in the world, but often it isn’t even close. Even in the middle of the worst starting stretch of his career, he’s shown occasional flashes of brilliance that let us all think he’s not that far away from getting it going again. The question is, what will it take to keep that going?
As recently as Saturday, we bore witness to another classic Tiger run on the course. In the third round of the 2014 WGC-Cadillac Championship, Woods recorded the best round of the tournament, and finally looked like himself again. Then on Sunday, he struggled just to make pars, losing ground and falling out of contention.
That’s the problem with Woods, though; you never really know what’s going on with him. Is it his back injury acting up again, or is it just a matter of him fighting his swing? Whatever it is, if he has any designs on the 2014 Masters Tournament, or any of the majors that matter so much to him, he’ll have to get it right in a hurry.
The worst thing about the way Woods is playing right now is the inconsistency. He’ll struggle, but then turn around and post the best round of the week. If he’s hurt, it’s just enough to slow him down, but not keep him out for multiple weeks. If it’s more mental, he can’t get better staying away. He’s had long layoffs, he’s played a handful of tournaments, and nothing seems to be helping for more than a day or two at a time.
Earlier this week, I said that Woods made a smart call playing at Trump National Doral, but thanks to the difficult weather conditions, it certainly hasn’t paid off. Now he’ll have a week off to recover before heading to Bay Hill for the Arnold Palmer Invitational, his final scheduled tournament before the Masters.
After the incredible season we saw from Tiger in 2013, it certainly wasn’t unreasonable to expect another big start. Now, more than anything, he just needs to find a groove – any groove – and get something positive started. I don’t know what it will take to get him back in the form he had last year, but whatever it is, it has to happen soon.