The Recent Struggles of Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods has been a household name since entering professional golfing 18 years ago, but not all of his press has been good. Tiger Woods suffered a fall from grace in 2009 that has proven difficult to come back from, and in his first two tournaments of 2014, the once top player appears to be faltering once again, after a rebound season in 2013. Woods’ tournament opener at the Farmers Insurance Classic, found him tied for 80th place, failing to make the cut to the second round.
He only fared marginally better at the Dubai Desert Classic. Woods placed 41st, a position he rarely finds himself in. The double-wammy of poor finishes is the first time since beginning his career that he has placed below 20 in tournament openers. Now, at the Honda Classic in Florida, Woods hasn’t performed up to snuff either. Shooting one-over-par, he trailed leader Rory McIlroy by 8 strokes. Funny enough, McIlroy has become a huge young star in professional golf, much like Woods once was.
Woods Rise to Number 1
Tiger Woods quickly became a household name in the late 1990s. In 1997, Woods won the Masters, becoming the youngest golfer to ever to win the title. He continued to dominate, winning 8 tournaments, including the PGA classic in 1999. In 2000, he had six consecutive wins, including the PGA Championship. During the 2000 season, he broke or tied nine tournament records and then held the #1 position for over 200 weeks, the longest in golf history.
However, he had a less than impressive 2003 and 2004 season. Woods bounced back, dominating between 2005 and 2009, with aggressive play and a number of winning titles, but Woods would soon see his downfall.
Tiger Wood’s Decline in Recent Years
While 2014 doesn’t appear to be starting well for Woods; this is certainly not the first year he has struggled significantly, although he has rarely struggled this early on. In 2009, Woods failed to win a major. By late 2009, allegations of his cheating had come to light and he left golf for an indefinite break.
He was embarrassed by the media coverage and offered a sincere, public apology for his behavior. When he returned in 2010, his play was off. His coach resigned, and Woods failed to win a single event during the season. He continued to falter through 2011 and 2012, with injuries and changes to his team. His PGA ranking also fell quickly. The once top player had fallen to 56th at one point during the 2012 season.
Woods, however, regained some of his prior success during the 2013 season. He dominated the playing field and many argued that Woods, who had had a tough run for several years, was back in peak competition performance. He still failed to secure a major title during the 2013 season.
Can He Bounce Back?
There is always a chance the Tiger Woods will bounce back later in the season, however, injuries are not uncommon for the now aging player. His practices, prior to his most recent showing, have focused entirely on his short game, which also happens to be where he faltered the most at the Honda Classic.
His recent, lackluster performances are leading many to wonder whether or not Tiger’s day in the sun has passed. Woods’ recent problems may be multiple, a mix of emotional distress, physical injuries and consistent changes to his team and staff. Many “experts” have alluded to the recent surge to pursue a professional golf career, thus the new golfers are stiff competition for Woods. Regardless of what has caused Woods to falter lately, he’ll need to pull it together quickly in order to avoid another repeat of his poorest performing years.
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