Eldrick…What have you done with Tiger?

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It was almost 3 years ago when I wrote a full post that was all about Tiger Woods.  It’s not that he hasn’t offered a wealth of stories or gossip to share, but as my Mom always said…

“People who live in glass houses…”
“He/she who is without sin…”
“If you don’t have anything good to say…”

So “Mum” has been my word since that fateful Thanksgiving 2009, until now…

After watching Tiger get taken down at the Accenture Match Play by a man ready to give up golf for good (64th ranked player Thomas Bjorn) and then seeing him struggle at Doral during the first 3 rounds this weekend, I kept thinking to myself, “Eldrick, what have you done to Tiger!?”

The first 3 days at The Blue Monster were tough to watch, especially on the putting green.  What was once a nice smooth stroke, rarely misread, was suddenly short and choppy, causing more misses inside 10 feet than I can remember ever seeing from golf’s miracle worker.

I wanted to see if his current 15 month slump was just a blip in the Tiger radar, so I started going through his stats starting in 1996. 

Certainly there have been some ups and downs during his swing/coach changes, his dad passing away and his knee surgery.  But what we might consider life changing events, only made minor dents in Tiger’s overall statistics.  He still won tournaments, scored a number of top 3’s and lots of top 10s.  But not this time…

Everyone said it was his mental fortitude that was his biggest strength, but after watching Tiger crash and burn smoulder over the past  15 months, there’s little doubt in my mind that although  the former world #1 may be rebuilding his swing for the 3rd time, what Eldrick needs to do is rebuild Tiger Woods from the inside out.

Back when Tiger the phenom was hitting the headlines as an amateur, Dr. Jay Brunza, a retired naval commander, sports psychologist and friend of Earl Woods, was Tiger’s mental coach and often caddie.  I remember reading an article about how Brunza boasted that he was able to hypnotize Woods almost instantly.

Other stories went so far as to say that Tiger could hypnotize himself  “on command”.  Allegedly you could tell when he was doing it by his blinking. Hmm….

Well, I don’t know much about self-hypnosis, but anyone can see that Tiger’s game is suffering beyond hooks and slices; it’s a mental implosion that is keeping Tiger out of contention.

Today Tiger closed with a 66 and tied for 10th when McIlroy got wet off the 18th tee.  The new putter seemed to help his putting too today – only 25 putts in 18 holes.

But one round of 66 does not a cure make.

You know what they say, “The bigger they are, the harder they fall.”  And, given how impressive Tiger’s mental strength once was, then perhaps one sports psychologist isn’t enough.

Bring on experts extraordinaire: Dr. Bob Rotella, Dr Karl Morris, and Dr. Gio Valiante – I’m thinking an intervention may be in order.

Golfgal

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10 comments

  1. That’s quite a chart you posted. I passed your link along for others to see first hand the state of Tiger’s game.

  2. Hey Mr. Puttle! Thanks for passing this along.

    I got the statistics off of Tiger’s site, which says they got them from PGA Tour.

    So they should be right! 🙂

    Thanks again!
    Gayle

  3. Tiger just needs to play more events…

    Chevron Challenge showed he can win…

  4. Great stats, it’s an interesting visual to see how he has done over the year with various teachers. Hopefully Sean Foley’s stats will raise soon!

  5. Hi “discover golf”.

    I am a bit worried about Sean Foley. I’ve seen two video comparisons of Tiger with Hunter M and Sean O and it looks like Foley is trying to turn Tiger into them.

    I hope that’s not true and that SF’s working with Tiger’s swing, not what SF thinks all swings should look like.

    Just HMO 🙂

    Thanks for your comment!

    Cheers
    Gayle

  6. Great article Golfgal and love the inclusion of the stats. The sins of the father….. the game of golf was given Tiger the Product. But harsh lessons lay ahead. Namely, actions have consequences and golf demands more than a good swing. Maybe its more important he finds inner peace than beats the record of the Golden Bear.

  7. Hey thanks so much Woody!

    I couldn’t agree with you more. Tiger is a product built from 30+ years of “engineering”. Reverse engineering Tiger is not going to be easy. But we can always hope!

    Cheers
    Gayle

  8. Dexter(QuoteGuy)

    I just moved from Miami to Phoenix a month and a half ago. I had attended the Doral event for the previous 4 years. I agree it was tough to see Tiger struggle the way he did. Looks like he might be working things out though. He did say that it would take him 18 to 24 months to figure out the new swing. Also I heard that he might be going back to his old putting stroke, so those inside of 10 feet putts might start dropping again on a regular basis.

    Like the new look of the your blog by the way. Nice!

  9. Hi Dexter! Thanks so much for your comment.

    I would love to see Tiger keep something stable in his life and his putting stroke wasn’t broken so why fix it? So I hope you are right and he’s going back to that.

    As for your nice comments on my new look – can I “quote you” on that. 🙂

    Thanks again!
    Gayle

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