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Will Tiger Woods ever regain his golf mastery?

It has been more than two years since Tiger Woods has won a major golf championship. He has never gone this deep into a season without winning a tournament of some kind. Just last week he finished a tournament tied for 79th out of 80 golfers in driving accuracy. Read the rest of Michael Wilbon's column.

By Jodi Westrick  |  August 11, 2010; 8:08 AM ET  | Category:  National Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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I believe Woods has deep-seated psychological problems, and that his multitude of women on the side helped him hold his life together, strange as it may seem, like a drug addict or alcoholic who can't function without the substance. They need the substance to try feel normal, survive. Take away that crutch, of the women, and his family which might have (or might not have) given him some semblance of stability and order, and he has just unraveled. Without effort and help to build a new life...or even returning to the old ways that got him this far...I don't see any hope. He truly has no moorings.

Posted by: ecassel1 | August 11, 2010 11:12 AM

Of course he will, and it's going to happen next season. Mark my words.

Posted by: Trout1 | August 11, 2010 11:26 AM

Opium is the opiate of the masses.

No wait, it's endless repetition of sports trivia... fantasy football... anointment of marginally interesting individuals as billionaires for their ability to handle a plastic ball of some sort... meanwhile the world burns... must keep pinheads occupied on sports at all costs... save Nascar... must save personality cult management and associated revenue stream...

Posted by: lambcannon | August 11, 2010 12:10 PM

Tiger Woods will almost certainly never return to the kind of absolute superiority he had over a golf ball and the others who strike it. For then, he also had a justifiable superiority of attitude -- "I can beat anybody ... no, I can beat EVERYbody".

But since his deplorable behavior as a husband and partner -- I'm not talking so much about the moral issue of cheating on a wife, but rather one's responsibility to protect a mate from danger. His mattress-testing with more than a dozen women exposed her to any number of sexually transmissible diseases ... this behavior and its public exposure has unsettled him, as it should. He is no longer the nearly invulnerable golfer -- not in his mind, not in the public's mind, not in his competitors' minds.

Tiger Wolf may return to winning golf, but not to the nearly untouchable plane he stood upon, alone. Hence, I think he has virtually no chance of breaking Jack Nicklaus' record of 18 Major victories.

And I am glad, for Nicklaus seems to be a decent fellow. Tiger Woods clearly is not.

Posted by: JPMcC | August 11, 2010 12:10 PM

It could just be that he has gone over the proverbial hill. A professional athlete cannot last forever at that level of dominance. Injuries, which he has had, loss of concentration, and simple loss of desire all contribute to the decline of star athletes. He has great ability, but he might never regain the other factors that combined to make him the best.

Posted by: hlabadie | August 11, 2010 12:13 PM

Unless he got an new good coach to correct his swing, he might not have an other chance to reclaim his mastery. The problem is that Tiger is best professional golfer but not the best skilled professional! Notably, he has very bad driver swing! He can not control draw and fade. He'll needs sports scientist like me to tell him how to do it! His former coaches (H & B ,they knows nothing about sports biomechanics) taught him a lot of bad things!e.g., move lower body and leg too much in downward swing! I do not judge his mental side, Tiger's mentality is very positive!
To improve his swing, I suggest Tiger looks for Roy Mcilroy's video or contact me! Right now, no one can teach him except me! Forget about Sean Foley!

Posted by: taichilo | August 11, 2010 12:26 PM

Hard to see how he can do it. The physical tools might come back, but its hard to see how his head can ever be in it again. This stuff is going to dog his conscience for a long time.

Posted by: allknowingguy | August 11, 2010 12:38 PM

Only time will tell. Presently, he is not playing at the same level he had before his personal live unraveled. I have grave doubts that he will ever return to the dominating force he once was. Notwithstanding, if he can pull his life together he will probably be able to cobble together enough major victories to best Jack's 18 major titles. After all, breaking Jacks record for major titles is his ultimate goal.

Posted by: LaserGuidedBomb | August 11, 2010 1:17 PM

No. He will soon lose his No. 1 status but remain a very good golfer, in the top twenty rankings. If his ego can’t take this he will retire before he's 40.

Posted by: GreenFlag | August 11, 2010 1:18 PM

According to the Bible, Samson's strength was in his hair. We now know where Tiger got HIS strength.

Posted by: angelas1 | August 11, 2010 1:55 PM

Who on Earth cares? News Flash. Tiger Woods edication to and mastery of golf has be exposed for what it is; not important.

Posted by: jimmylundstrom | August 11, 2010 2:00 PM

"Will Tiger Woods ever regain his golf mastery?"

Who cares???

Woods has a lot more to worry about than his golf game.

Besides golf is a wankers sport. Watching mostly middle aged white guys with pot bellies swatting little white balls around is about as exciting as watching paint dry.

How about covering real athletes who play real sports like football, baseball, basketball, etc?

Posted by: montana123 | August 11, 2010 2:21 PM

If Tiger Woods doesn't "regain his golf mastery," who else does have have to blame but himself?"

It seems like his desire to get some cheap "booty" has cost him tens of millions of dollars.

So the question needs to be asked of Tiger:

Was it worth it?

Posted by: helloisanyoneoutthere | August 11, 2010 2:54 PM

Who cares. He's a spoiled brat and has never had manners. his conduct on and off the course is bad for the game. Good riddance.

Posted by: Hairless | August 11, 2010 3:27 PM

I think Woods and White House spokesman Gibbs are in the same boat. In way over their heads and both shot their wads early!

Posted by: GordonShumway | August 11, 2010 3:58 PM

Of course he will return. The same Tiger that has dominated golf since he started the tour is still there. For years he has been the most talented, most dedicated, most focused, hardest-working pro on the tour. Barring catastrophic injury, he has a good 11-12 (or more) seasons and will certainly get his record number of majors.

Posted by: gingles | August 11, 2010 4:17 PM

Who cares?

Posted by: greg3 | August 11, 2010 4:45 PM

Tiger Woods even from the beginning seemed to me to lack normal humility. Not the down-in-the-mouth, hang-dog kind of humility, but the kind of self-assurance based on who he really was--an exceptionally talented golfer who was otherwise as human as everyone else. He has been a very proud man---and not in the good sense.

I still vote that he will come back though, once he starts taking a realistic view of himself and is willing to see that his excellent golf skills and wealth don't mean that he's super-human in every other aspect of his life.

I'd like to see him eat a little unscripted humble pie. Those stioff apologies just don't ring true.

Posted by: Bluefish2012 | August 11, 2010 4:53 PM

You know, I don't believe in Karma.....but if I did, I'd say Tiger Woods poor performance on the golf course is cosmic payback for all his sins in bed. That's if I believed in Karma.

Posted by: logcabin1836 | August 11, 2010 5:07 PM

It's difficult for anyone to perform well during the Obama Recession. Tiger, Jet Blue employees, and everyone else are hitting bad shots all over the place, while many people have given up on their swing and are hoping Obama will toss them a mulligan. When Pelosi and Reid miss the cut this fall, our handicaps will continue to improve, and Tiger will worry less about how much tax he owes on half the winnings he used to take home.

Posted by: JeffPA1 | August 11, 2010 5:28 PM

"Tiger Wolf may return to winning golf, but not to the nearly untouchable plane he stood upon, alone. Hence, I think he has virtually no chance of breaking Jack Nicklaus' record of 18 Major victories.

And I am glad, for Nicklaus seems to be a decent fellow. Tiger Woods clearly is not"

I agree with JPMCC whole heartedly and I'm glad too. And I used to be a huge Tiger fan. Now I find I can't even watch him. Go Phil!

Posted by: nolagirl67 | August 11, 2010 5:39 PM

I don't give a rat's about Tiger Woods. Time to move on -- there must be a missing white woman somewhere.

Posted by: nicekid | August 11, 2010 5:49 PM

Who should I send my quarter to so that he/she may call someone that cares? I had enought of his arrogance several years ago.

Posted by: theo1 | August 11, 2010 5:52 PM

Tiger may play even better after he works through his emotional problems in therapy, calms down, and starts focusing on his game again. I hope his "come back" happens soon as inspiration for all of us lesser mortals.

Posted by: oldmagnolia | August 11, 2010 7:09 PM

Oh for goodness sakes, many of you were just hoping that Tiger Woods would be disgraced, humiliated and destroyed. Well he is and still you people can't stop piling on. WOW!!!

And, JEFFPA1, some people love to wallow in misery and that is what people like you relish doing. Whiny, bi!chy people seem to raise the most noise but you people don't speak for all of us. The majority of us want our country to move forward and so far President Obama is the one person who is willing to make the hard decisions to see that we do move forward. Listening to the whiny people who pack these boards all we would be doing is nothing and wallowing in worse conditions than we are now.

Posted by: catmomtx | August 11, 2010 8:38 PM

Tiger won't ever dominate golf again. He will get back into a average tour player. He will occasionally win a tournament or two. Tiger is older and has injuries. The younger up and coming players aren't afraid of Tiger.

Posted by: Doctor_Evil | August 13, 2010 4:49 PM

...dude, Tiger is what, 34 years old? Come on, he's virtually in his physical prime, as a golfer. He's got almost 15 years of experience on-tour. He may be at or possibly past his peak physically but that only means that he will have to play "smart", not play "strong". He's got the rest of his life to learn to do that.

If I was his coach I'd start not with the putting or the driving or the short irons but with one thing first and foremost: Cut out that crap with the clubs and the cussing. It's not so much a sign of poor sportsmanship as being more worried about getting good results than being focused *on* getting good results. You can't flip out when you hit a bad shot and still play well, it's that simple.

To me his histrionics on the course are more revealing about his true problems than anything else. He simply doesn't have good control of himself and he's putting too much of himself into every shot instead of looking at his overall performance. That has nothing to do with his physical ability or his degree of practice. That's a simple loss of self-control.

Posted by: dubya1938 | August 13, 2010 7:27 PM

...basically the guy seems to be much more of a drama-queen than he used to be, as if he got tired of being loved because he was a great golfer and held in such great esteem, and now he just wants to be loved period regardless of how good or bad he is. It's almost like he's desperate for someone who loves him regardless of who he actually is, whether he's good or bad, to the point where he's willing to self-destruct to find that person.

Either that or let's face it, he's not handling the fact that he isn't flat-out dominating the PGA tour like he used to. The fact that he isn't the longest driver, the best around the greens, and the hottest putter, and this is how he's dealing with the competition.

Or maybe after 15 majors and a hot Swedish wife, two kids, and 10x the career earnings that Nicklaus could ever dream of, he just doesn't care anymore.

There are just so many potential explanations and the question is does he have to be perfect to dominate the field? Or can he just dominate the field, and his imperfections will be forgiven, even ignored?

Or does it even matter if he dominates or not, as long as he wins a major or two every year?

Who the hell knows. But it's clear that success is its own poison. It's not that he can't be dominant, it's that his dominance undermines itself. He *was* dominant and the golf world adapted. Then he adapted and was dominant again...and the golf world adapted again. Can we really expect him to be as dominant as he was before, in this new world of golf...for lighting to strike three times?

...does he really need to be as dominant as he was a year or two ago, just to pick up those 3 or 4 majors to beat Nicklaus and cement his legacy as the greatest golfer in history? No. Can he pick up 3 or 4 more majors in the course of his career on the PGA tour? Almost without question.

Will he?

That's what we're all watching to see. And he'd have to practically kill someone for the world to not fall all over him if he did that.

Posted by: dubya1938 | August 13, 2010 7:40 PM

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