Why Tiger Woods Still Faces Big Questions After Romp at Torrey Pines

Steve Silverman@@profootballboyFeatured ColumnistJanuary 28, 2013

LA JOLLA, CA - JANUARY 28:  Tiger Woods hits his approach shot on the 17th hole en route to his -14 under victory during the Final Round at the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines Golf Course on January 28, 2013 in La Jolla, California. (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)
Donald Miralle/Getty Images

If Tiger Woods was going to draw up a perfect start to the 2013 golf season, it would involve a win in the Farmers Insurance Open.

That's because it was his first PGA tournament of the season. Tiger had a solid 2012 season, finishing with three victories. None of them were in the majors and he did not finish well in any of those tournaments.

So Woods may have been the No. 2 money earner on the tour behind wunderkind Rory McIlroy, but Woods was not all the way back.

The way to come all the way back is to win tournament after tournament and do it in convincing fashion.

He must at least play that way until the majors are on the docket, and then rack up one or two of them.

Tiger seemed to have it together as he competed at Torrey Pines this week. He hit the ball long and far. He kept the ball in solid position and he made his greens in regulation. He putted better than any other golfer and he won the Farmers Insurance Open.

Woods shot a 14-under par 274, and raced out to a substantial lead through the first three rounds. He shot 68, 65 and 69 before an unimpressive 72 in the final round.

At one point he had an eight-stroke lead, but by the end of the tournament the margin was four strokes. On the surface that seems like a sizable victory, but if Woods had seen his margin dip to three strokes as he teed off on the 18th, that final hole might not have been so comfortable for him.

There were plenty of reasons for Woods to close his round with a back nine of 39. One of them was the unconscionably slow play that dogged the final round of the tournament.

"I started to lose my patience out there because it was so freaking slow," Woods told The Golf Channel in a post-tournament interview. "Three hours for nine holes. It's like, come on."

But making excuses is not going to help Woods get back to his best form. He did not close out what had been a very strong tournament with a solid final round.

Woods' biggest issue was his lack of accuracy with his driver. He had plenty of distance with the club, averaging 307.2 yards per drive. That was second to Robert Garrigus's monster mark of 310.2 yards per drive.

However, he struggled to keep his drives in the fairway. He tied for 17th in driving accuracy over the four days, keeping 57.14 percent of his drives in the fairway.

The victory at Torrey Pines means Woods has started a golf season with a victory for the seventh time in his career.

He did not play perfectly; his lack of driving accuracy gives him a specific area of his game to work on. He must also improve his final-round demeanor so he can stay on task when the end is in sight.

But Woods came away with a sizable win, he is feeling healthy and he has four majors ahead of him. He looks to be in his best position to win at least one of them since 2008, the last time he won a major.

He has been holding at 14 major titles since then and he is itching to see that title grow.

It looks like he may be able to make that happen in 2013.