May 4, 2009

Twice In A Row, Woods Threatens But His Driver Leads Him Astray

Folks betting that Tiger Woods is going to roll the field in next month's US Open had better hope that he re-discovers his putting touch and leaves his driver at home before he gets to Bethpage Black for the American championship.

"I've been very pleased with some of my progress [after returning from knee surgery.] I'm also not so pleased with some of it," Woods said after yesterday's final round. "It's been spotty, streaky. I just need to get a little more consistent."

Indeed. The World's #1 finished 41st in driving accuracy, T45 for greens in regulation and when he did find the putting surface to give himself a birdie chance, all too often Tiger was on the wrong spot of the green and reduced his chances of climbing to the top of the leaderboard when it mattered the most.

This can't bode well for him heading not only to the US Open, but also next week when he plays at quirky TPC Sawgrass against perhaps the best field of the year, majors included. In Ponte Vedra, if Tiger hopes to win, he'll need to find the fairway more than most of his competition and he'll need to dial in his iron accuracy and distance in order to put the ball where it needs to be on Pete Dye's undulation Stadium Course greens. Otherwise, Woods will once again fall short on Sunday and he in all likelihood, questions about his post-surgery game will begin in earnest.

Tiger fans need not fret too much, however, he's not that far off and at any given second, he may make the connection he needs to straighten himself out off of the tee, among other things. That may happen today or it may happen next Saturday afternoon. But if one thing has been proven over the years with Tiger Woods, it will happen and it will probably happen soon.

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