It had been several years since Tiger Woods played in the Phoenix Open in Scottsdale and playing in just his second event since the PGA Championship in August; Woods put together the worst round of his professional career. Woods shot an 82 in the second round and didn’t make the cut. He makes the cross-country trip back to Florida looking like his career has hit rock bottom.
The performance this weekend shouldn’t set off calls for Woods’ career to be over but it is something that is very worrisome.
He did shoot 1-over 73 on Thursday but had a triple bogey, a double bogey and three bogeys on just the back nine Friday. He has made swing changes since the last time he was at the course and it is always possible that the swing patterns aren’t completely down yet but it is still no excuse for the best player in the world for a long time to look as bad as he did. He knows he has to be better and it can be expected that he will put it all together just in time for The Masters in April.
That will be the big moment for Woods and whether or not he is still an elite player or not. If he goes to Augusta and fails miserably, there are going to be very serious questions on whether or not he can catch Jack Nicklaus and his 18 career major championships. That wouldn’t bode well for his U.S. Open or British Open chances either.
He is four short of tying Nicklaus right now but hasn’t won a major since the 2007 PGA Championship. The rest of the world has caught up to Woods and overtaken him in many cases.
The end isn’t coming soon for Woods but he does turn 40 years old this year. Nicklaus won his last major title at age 46 in 1986. The clock is ticking on Woods and whether or not he can truly become the greatest golfer of all-time. His status at the top is slipping away every day like the sands in an hourglass.
Hopefully this is just a bad round while knocking off the rust from time off but if Arizona club pro Michael Hopper makes two pars when he returns to the course to finish his second round that was suspended by darkness Saturday morning, Woods would finish last at a PGA Tour event for the first time in his career.
That may truly be rock bottom.