The old Tiger Woods was predictable for winning whenever he got around the lead at a major. The new Tiger Woods is predictable for playing well on Thursday and Friday only to finish a milquetoast T4 or T6 or thereabouts, then disowning his failure by faulting inconsistent green speeds.
So it went at the 142nd British Open at Muirfield, where winner Phil Mickelson took 10 fewer putts than Woods over the weekend. How many strokes did Mickelson finish ahead of Woods (T6)? Five. In a column entitled "Putt up or shut up," Robert Lusetich of foxsports.com takes Woods to task for being in denial, and for his stubborn refusal to get help with his putting.
Certainly his current coach Sean Foley doesn’t work on putting.At the very least, Lusetich adds, Woods should do himself (and us) a favor and stop faulting the greens themselves for his woes, as if he's the only one who has to putt them and adjust to the grain, the breaks and the tournament committee's whims.
Woods’ putting coach was his dad, Earl Woods, who passed away in 2006.
Since then, he’s gone it alone.
But the time has come to bite the bullet and get someone to help him with his putting.
He has to know it was no coincidence that he won so convincingly at Doral after an impromptu lesson at Doral from Steve Stricker.
It's time for Tiger to stop equivocating and own up to his part of the problem, not just because his denial is unseemly. If he doesn't get better on the greens under pressure he'll never win major No. 15, to say nothing of majors 16, 17, 18 or, dare we hope, 19. And that would be a shame.
(Photo: Matt Dunham/AP)