Tiger Woods’ struggles continue in the Cadillac championships. The world No.1, who has only recently been hampered by a back injury, was undone by both his lack of form, winds of more than 30 mph, and the newly designed course.
Tiger Woods was not alone in his struggles. 68 of the world’s best players hit more than 100 balls in the water between them. Like Woods, they may not have had the chance to fully inspect the new course funded by Donald Trump. Four players were able to get their heads round the new course though. Reed, Johnson, Kuchar and Mahar all finished the second round -1 under par. Tiger Woods himself, in typical diplomatic fashion, referred to badly located pins, saying that for the most part the course was fair, but there were a few suspect locations. The wind did not help either. In conditions described by Sweden’s Henrik Stenson as anything but fun to play in, the players saw their shots either taken out of play by the gusts, or the unforgiving course; for the really unlucky ones, both.
For Woods, this week may have to be written off as a chance to get some competitive practice in. It will also provide an opportunity to see how his back holds up. Woods had to withdraw from last week’s Honda Classic with back spasms. That withdrawal was subject to criticism from the Golfing world, but criticism is not new to Woods. And not something he listens to, reminding the Golfing world in a recent interview that the body does not heal as quick as age takes its toll. Woods knows what he is talking about. Injuries, like criticism, are also anything but novel to Woods. The world No. 1 has been beset with injuries throughout his career, his left knee and Achilles’ tendon being the main culprits. Elbow and neck strains have also put him out for periods.
Tiger Wood’s struggles in the Cadillac championships were alleviated somewhat by a sudden and welcome record putt. Woods showcased the talent that has made him one of the all time Greats, reminding everyone why he finished last season as Player of the Year. The American shot the longest putt, a 91 footer, on the Professional Golfers Association of America (PGA) Tour for five years, beating the 120 foot record he himself set at the 2001 Tour Championships. His achievement made an otherwise disappointing day less so. Woods finished the second round at 4- over 76 and No. 27 on the leaderboard. Luckily for Woods, the Championships do not have a cut, and at the very least he will get some much-needed practice in and get familiar with the controversial course in time for next year.
Watching Tiger Woods continue to struggle in the Cadillac championships will be hard for fans. The 91 foot putt though will remind them of what the Star is capable of. In a career marked with extreme highs and lows, Woods and his fans will hope that achievement will help him improve his leader-board standing and to maintain his world ranking, and maybe prove to be the kick-starter for yet another stellar year.
Commentary by Christian Deverille