Tiger loosing his touch?
Tiger Woods lost the PGA Championship due to his bad putting. That skill haunted the world’s best yet again at the opening round of the four-week FedEx Championship. It was a maddening finish at The Barclays, with Ernie Els, Steve Stricker, Padraig Harrington, Nick Watney and Tiger Woods all surging up the leaderboard in the final day. But an unexpected victor emerged from the weekend, leaving Tiger Woods to question his putting yet again.
Heath Slocum, who has just two PGA Tour victories under his belt, claimed the win at The Barclays after making some miraculous long putts. However, given the rise of some mid-card talent at the big events this year, it should come as no surprise that a golfer like Slocum could win this past weekend. He joins Stewart Cink, Y.E. Yang, Lucas Glover and Angel Cabrera as the big underdog winners of the PGA betting season.
Tiger Woods was inexplicably bad from 10-feet out, and was average at best from the fairways. His drives were off the mark for the most part throughout the weekend, and his putting did him in on the final hole of the tournament. Tiger missed a putt that would’ve forced a playoff with Slocum, who was just one stroke ahead of him. Steve Stricker, also screwed up on the 72nd hole, and finished tied for second with Woods, Els, Stricker and Harrington.
This brings me to a point of “signs”. Remember when Appalachian State throttled Michigan in the opening game of the 2007 college betting season and we all thought it was a fluke? That game set the stage for a bevy of “flukes”. Angel Cabrera’s victory at the first major of the season was that very same sign, and we all ignored it. We’ve all been waiting adamantly for Woods to claim his throne back, and he has yet to do it on a grand stage. Still, he’ll get a truck load of FedEx Player Points for finishing second, but the race is now tighter than you can imagine.
Can Tiger overcome the momentum from the mid-carders? Will Padraig Harrington continue this hot streak of his? Can Ernie Els stay balanced down the stretch? Can another no-namer rise in the wake of Tiger’s mistakes? We’ll find out at the Deutsche Bank Championship this weekend.