Entering Sunday at the 2012 Open Championship at Royal Lytham & St. Anne's, Tiger Woods was the player to watch. He wasn't in the lead, but he was well within striking distance. His three-over par 75 took him out of contention, yet it was his overall performance that should have the rest of the world shaking.
Lest anyone start talking about a choke, remember that if Woods hadn't been so conservative on the sixth hole, where he triple-bogeyed, he would have been just one shot behind winner Ernie Els.
Woods said after the event that this was just one of those things that tends to happen when you are out on the golf course. (via Washington Post)
We’ve all been in positions to win golf tournaments and sometimes people go ahead and win them and take them away from you. Other times we make mistakes. And that’s just the way it goes.
Woods has certainly had his share of ups and downs in 2012. He has missed two cuts, withdrawn from an event in the final round and finished 40th in big events like the Masters and Players Championship.
Yet there came a point, roughly around the end of May, where he seemed to figure something out in his game. Woods was no longer as lost on the course as he appeared, nor was he taking his frustrations out on anything and everything that stood in his way.
Winning at the Arnold Palmer Invitational at the end of March was the first sign of life we saw from Woods in a long, long time. Then came victories at the Memorial in May and the AT&T National in June, and Woods had finally shown the consistency we have been waiting for.
One tournament does not make or break a player, certainly not one with the resume of Woods. He is still searching to find consistency for four rounds, but there are enough good things that he is doing now to keep hopes for him high the rest of the season and beyond.
Woods is going to be fine. He still has the PGA Championship to look forward to next month, and who knows what else he will be able to do with nearly four more months of tournaments to play in.
Don't just look at Sunday's finish and assume Woods reverted back to his bad self. He is going to win a lot more in 2012.