Tiger Woods: Weak Showing at Masters Paints Grim Picture of Fading Star's Future

Thad Novak@@ThadNovakCorrespondent IApril 7, 2012

AUGUSTA, GA - APRIL 07:  Tiger Woods of the United States looks at a putt on the eighth green during the third round of the 2012 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 7, 2012 in Augusta, Georgia.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Tiger Woods looked like he might finally have turned things around. Just two weeks ago at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, he recorded his first PGA Tour win since his marital troubles became front-page news in late 2009.

Unfortunately for Tiger, that recovery looks to have been a mirage. With 12 holes already in the books today at the Masters, Woods is three over par for the tournament and well on his way to his worst Augusta finish in a decade.

Even with the rest of his career floundering, Woods had been able to count on the Masters to remind people of the brilliance that made him the world’s most famous golfer. Last year, when injuries kept him out of two majors and he couldn’t even make the cut at the PGA Championship, he still looked close to his old self, logging a fourth-place finish at Augusta.

After finishing in the top 10 on the Masters leaderboards every year since 2004, Tiger is currently sitting in a tie for 39th place with just 24 holes remaining to make up ground. If he can’t even compete at the tournament that became the primary symbol of his dominance, it’s hard to see Woods being much of a factor (at least in major championship fields) for whatever’s left of his career.

Woods’ fame hasn’t been diminished nearly as much as his game has, so it’s a safe bet that we’ll continue hearing about how he finishes at every tournament he plays for the next couple of years. Unfortunately for him, based on how poorly he’s played at one of his favorite courses in the world this weekend, those upcoming finishes aren’t going to be anything worth seeing.