What's ahead for Tiger Woods in 2013?
People (even non-golfers) constantly ask me about Tiger Woods and his state of the game. Will he be the player again he once was? Here are my observations and predictions.
While I’m not an expert on the golf swing (and I never claim to be), I don’t think that Sean Foley has been great for Tiger so far. His driving is as erratic as it’s ever been, his putting has been pretty inconsistent and he is de-lofting his short irons way too much (which makes it extremely hard to control the distance).
While he used to be deadly with a wedge in his hands, he has gone to tour average at best (he ranked 72nd in approaches from 100-125 yards in 2012). Overall, he seems to lack the “magic” and consistency he possessed for so many years. I have seen him hit bad shots and miss short putts that I have never seen before. While I don’t necessarily question his motivation and desire (many others do, by the way), I’m not convinced it’s the same it once was.
His weekend performance at the majors was pretty shocking last year (he led or co-led after two rounds at the U.S. Open and PGA Championship but shot himself out of the tournament after that). His health and a number of injuries in the last couple of years have also held him back. He needs to be a 100 percent fit if he wants to compete with the likes of Rory McIlroy et al.
While he is always one of the favorites at Augusta, he hasn’t won the Masters since 2005. He has to fix his spotty putting if he wants to contend again. I think he’ll have his best shot to win a major at the U.S. Open which will be played at Merion. Merion is a fairly short course so he should be able to hit irons off many tees (say Hoylake in 2006 where he dominated). The Open Championship (aka British Open) will be at Muirfield where Tiger had his worst round in a major (a disastrous 81 in the third round in 2002). Let’s wait and see if he’ll be able to battle the demons! The last major will be at Oak Hill C.C., a classic Donald Ross design with elevated greens that might not be his favorite cup of tea. Tiger finished T-39 in the 2003 PGA Championship, the last major contested at Oak Hill.
Bottom line: I expect Tiger to have another multi-win season, maybe including a major. Will he be no. 1 again? I don’t know? Will he dominate again the way he did pre-scandal? I highly doubt it! But time will tell – you should never underestimate Tiger Woods!!!
Tiger is expected to make his season debut in Abu Dhabi on Jan. 17.
|« Golf in Cyprus: A hidden gem in the Mediterranean Sea||Top U.S. golf course you can play: Pebble Beach or Pacific Dunes? »|