His irons are sublime, his driver for the most part long and straight.

If we’ve learned anything from his latest comeback, Tiger Woods can still putt a bit, too.

A decade ago that would have made him the overwhelming pick to win the U.S. Open. Heck, a decade ago he won the U.S. Open basically on one leg for what, incredibly enough, was his last major championship win.

But as Woods docks his yacht near Shinnecock Hills this week he’s still a golfing enigma of sorts. His scores are decent, if not spectacular, but he’s yet to win and has only been in serious contention once in nine tournaments this year.

Is the real Tiger finally back?

The answer to that question may be that no one has an answer to that question. And that might include Woods himself, who must still have trouble reminding himself he’s only the No. 80 player in the world.

Everything looks good. Everything — including the massive crowds that follow him everywhere — has the feel of the old Tiger. Someone who saw Woods practicing at Shinnecock last month described his ball striking as “mouthwatering,” and Woods himself says he’s hitting it as well as he can remember.

Something, though, is missing. So far this isn’t the Tiger of old in the most important way imaginable for the greatest player of his time — he isn’t winning.

It might be age — Woods is in great shape for 42 but the noticeably thinning hair gives away the fact he’s been playing professional golf for the better part of a quarter century and the nerves might not be what they once were. It might be something psychological, though Woods keeps his inner thoughts so close that no one really knows what goes on inside his head.

It might be that players don’t lie down …read more

Source:: The Denver Post – Sports


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