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Tiger Wins Number 75

On Monday afternoon Tiger won his 75th career PGA event. I said in the 2013 Golf Preview that this tournament would give us a glimpse into what Tiger Woods we shall see in 2013. So why am I feeling rather down on Tiger after the win?

Number 75 for Tiger has him sitting 2nd all time in PGA wins. He sits seven back of Sam Snead who played 30 years on tour, compared to this being Tiger's 19th year. He also happens to be 3rd all time on the European Tour just 12 back of Steve Ballesteros.

It was a nice win for Tiger. His form and swing seems to be almost to where he'd like it. He navigated this course like nobody else could come close to doing. He was far more accurate off the tee, he hit nearly 70% of the greens in regulation and once he was on the green he was nearly stellar. He looked far more confident in his putting stroke.

All that being said, Tiger finished the tournament bogey, double bogey, par, bogey, and par. He eased off the gas. That's the thing Tiger never would ease up on the field. Tiger would go out there and play for our respect, our love, now he simply plays to win tournaments. I have no problem with him just wanting to win. But I miss the old Tiger. The new Tiger has gone through several years of a swing change, the way sports teams rebuild through the draft, only he never really had an off year, like the Patriots.

He has changed his game so much, back when he played with his gut, he won the Masters by 1,000 shots. Now that he changed his swing, and mindset, he's out there just trying to hit a safe shot. He's out there trying to survive almost. He would be content parring the field to death if he could. He approaches every shot thinking okay let's calculate the risk and play this shot accordingly, instead of calculating the reward. It's a fine mindset, but old Tiger doesn't win the Masters by several hundred thousand shots with it. He's just becoming more robotic. Maybe he thinks he needs to as he gets older. But he wouldn't be where he was without that fire. He seems to be trying to extinguish it himself to be more consistent. 

Tiger sits four majors shy of Jack. With this new mindset/game, I'm not so sure he ends up getting there let alone pass him. Not unless he unleashes himself at some point. Right now he feels like a Klitschko, just jabbing and clinching biding time. Not making something happen like Tyson would.

Don't get me wrong, I'm rooting for Tiger, I hope he wins every time he is out there. But I think this mindset change could work if you are in your prime, but changing everything this late in your career, I'm not sure he will have enough time to fit it all together to catch Jack.

Here is the odds on Tiger's total Major wins this year.

Looks like Vegas agrees, but I do think there is a chance of him winning one of them. I like that +225. I don't think he is going to get shutout the rest of his life I'm just not sure he can be that much better than everyone else on tour now, and the way he approaches tournament play sort of saddens/scares me.


Tuesday, January 29, 2013

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