Tour Confidential: What Can We Make of Tiger Woods This Week?

tiger41. Tiger Woods shot three rounds in the 60s before a triple-bogey on Sunday derailed any hopes of winning the Wyndham Championship and extending his season into the FedEx Cup playoffs. What do you make of his week? What’s the main takeaway: him being in serious contention for the first time in two years or failing to break par on Sunday when it mattered most?

Eamon Lynch, managing editor, (@EamonLynch): This may be Tiger’s new reality: he has the undoubted ability to play sublime golf and shoot impressive scores, but playing around his weaknesses (either off the tee or around the green) is not likely to be a winning strategy. Most of the week when he was faced with short game shots Tiger opted for an airborne option — a flop shot or semi-flop — that allowed him to take a fuller swing. Guys with the chip yips can still execute those shots without flinching. When faced with a required chip shot on Sunday, the yips were exposed anew. Hank Haney made the astute point after the Masters that having the yips does not mean that one yips every time the opportunity presents itself, but the fear and possibility is there. That’s painfully evident in Tiger’s game. In many ways he is much improved since his awful start to the year, but the chipping issue remains and seems more psychological than technical.

Alan Shipnuck, senior writer, Sports Illustrated (@AlanShipnuck): If he had made 18 pars today it would feel more like progress, but the triple bogey that took Tiger out of the tourney was so wretched it has to leave more scar tissue. And it’s further proof that the chip-yips live inside of you like a sickness, just waiting to bloom at the worst possible time.

Michael Bamberger, senior writer, Sports Illustrated: He’s making slow progress to a place he has never been before: one of the top-20 players or so in the world, able to win now and again.

Jeff Ritter, senior editor, SI Golf Group (@JeffRitter): Given what Tiger had shown this season, I was completely shocked to see him in contention through the weekend. That was real progress. He still has more work to do to handle Sunday pressure, but it was an encouraging week. It left me thinking that he’ll win a Tour event somewhere in 2016.

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About Patrick Gonzalez

A wandered spirit at times, but passionate about family values, interested in world cultures, and taking the journey through life with vigor and no fear in trying something new. Patrick received his FAA pilot’s license in High School before acquiring a driver’s license. He still flies regularly to keep proficient in instrument and multi-engine ratings. Traveled all over the world while in the U.S. Navy and became very appreciative of different cultures. After his military service he grew a passion for golf and became a PGA professional. He authored “Golf’s Deadly Sins” and has over 30 years of teaching experience. Patrick says that experience has shown him that nothing invented by man will ever come at you harder than life itself. "It’s always better to be on the ground wishing that you were flying, than flying wishing you were on the ground."

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