The Beginning of the End?

Tiger Woods will be 34 years old in December, missed the cut at a major this season and failed to win the PGA Championship last week, despite leading after 54 holes.  The loss at the PGA was the first loss for Woods in a major when he enters Sunday with a lead.  He wasn’t terrible on Sunday, Y.E. Yang was just very, very good.

I remember watching the 2008 U.S. Open where Tiger won with basically one leg.  He defeated Rocco Mediate in an 18 hole playoff where his mental toughness was on display.  He willed himself to a victory.  It was probably the most impressive athletic performance I have ever seen.  That tournament ended Woods’ 2008 season, as he went under the knife to fix a torn ligament in his knee and the stress fracture in his leg, and the surgery may have changed his career.

Many pundits, experts, and people in the know have suggested that the surgery would change Woods and perhaps put an end to his dominance.  I didn’t believe it at first, but after watching Tiger collect zero major trophies this year for the first time since 2004, I am beginning to wonder if the best is behind Tiger.

Tiger currently ranks second all-time in major championship victories with 14.  Woods trails Jack Nicklaus by four.  All of Tiger’s majors have come in an 11-year stretch.  Nicklaus, on the other hand, won his in 24 years, so there’s still hope for Tiger to break Nicklaus’ record.

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