Tiger and the Red Shirt headed out on Sunday at Augusta. It was a familiar scene with thousands cheering on the four-times Masters champion. But this was a morning tee time and 30 minutes before High Noon. Except Tiger’s train had long gone. There would be no Green Jacket this week. A straightjacket maybe.
Woods had to say sorry on Saturday for kicking his club on Friday. He slammed his club into the tee at the 13th on Saturday and probably said sorry for that on Sunday, too. Sorry seems to be the easiest word, these days for Tiger. It’s one thing, saying it, but he has to mean it. The memory of his four rounds at the 76th Masters will be of temper tantrums, club throwing and F-bombs. If a six-year-old had behaved like that he’d have been sent to sit on the naughty spot for 36 minutes (that’s one minute for each year of his life, imposing Supernanny rules).
After his birdie on 18 yesterday he let out an ironic roar. The Tiger that roared here for the first time in 1997 with his “Hello World Goodbye Rivals” victory hasn’t won for seven years at Augusta. On the 18th green in the final round this year, he was five-over-par and the Mouse That Roared.
What the heck happened to the Tiger that won at Bay Hill just two weeks ago? “Tiger does not have self belief in his game right now,” said Nick Faldo. “I think it’s a mental problem. He has to find an absolute go-to shot. At the moment there is no safe shot in his bag.” So Tiger is back to being not back. Again. Compelling, isn’t it?