The question is asked every time that Tiger tees it up, when will he win again? There are plenty of opinions on this subject. So, I felt like it was time to weigh in.
There are plenty of theories as to why he is not winning. First, the obvious personal challenges he has faced over the past eighteen months. We all know how difficult the game of golf is when your mind is focused let alone when there are distractions. The second common theory is that he is trying to find his golf swing and has a new coach Sean Foley. While there is probably some truth to that, when has Tiger not been tinkering with his golf swing? The point is he always has and probably always will be as he tries to improve.
For me, it is pretty simple, Tiger will win again when the putts start dropping like they used to. How many times over the past fifteen years have we watched Tiger make putt after putt when it mattered? How many times have we seen him hit the golf ball all over the course, yet, get up and down time and again? How many times have we seen Tiger make a putt that is extremely difficult? Remember the putt at the TPC a few years ago when Tiger made it on seventeen from nowhere?
This past weekend at Doral he showed signs of the “Old Tiger” when he only needed 25 putts in the final round and shot 66.
I can hear it now from my growing reader base, how can you propose a theory like that? How does Tiger making a few more putts make that much of a difference? In a “game of inches”, the difference between winning and losing IS subtle. Check out Tigers’ putting average for the past five years including 2011 year to date. I have listed a table below to demonstrate the stats. His putting average has been inching up every year which has shown in his tournament results.
Tiger has never been a great driver of the golf ball. What I mean is he has always been long but never terribly accurate. That is no different today than it was five years ago. However, five years ago he would find his way out of trouble, get the ball on the green and sink a putt. Today, he may still miss the fairway, he may still get the ball on the green, however, once or twice per round the putts are not dropping. That is difference between winning and a top ten.
There is one last point I would like to make on this subject. Anyone who has watched Tiger and followed his career closely knows he is a very calculating, structured person. As it relates to his golf game, he does not do things by chance. So, if you do not think he is struggling with his putter, then why would he switch putters mid way through a WGC Golf Championship? That is what he did last week at Doral when he used a different Nike Putter for the third and fourth rounds.
Tiger Woods PGA Putting average (pgatour.com)
When do you think Tiger will win again? What will be the difference in his game?