The Highs and Lows of Tiger’s 2019 Season So Far

Tiger Woods recently completed one of the greatest comeback stories in the history of sports with his win at the 2019 Masters Tournament. The now 43 year old, is three victories behind catching Jack Nicklaus’ record of 18 total major victories and one career win behind Sam Snead’s record of 82 . As we move further into the 2019 PGA Tour season, it has become clear that Tiger may be saving his best golf for the most important tournaments of the year. With his history of injuries and surgeries, it’s important for him to get the rest he needs to compete at the highest level.

Tiger did not tee it up for any tournament play between his Masters victory and the PGA Championship at Bethpage Black. The PGA Championship was moved to the middle of May this season which was an adjustment for the players and spectators alike. Tiger decided that he needed some time to rest after winning his fifth green jacket so he did not compete between these two majors. By taking time off to rest his body, he felt like he would be able to get himself into prime position to contend when he feels comfortable.

The Highs and Lows of Tiger’s 2019 Season So Far

Unfortunately, this plan didn’t work as well as he would hope considering Tiger missed the cut at Bethpage by shooting an open round 72 and a Friday round of 73. In the end, he missed the cut with a score of +5. Woods couldn’t seem to find the slim fairways and the rough in New York was not forgiving. He had a hard time scrambling which led to high scores and an overall disappointing performance for the current Masters champion.

He hit only three fairways in the first round and got off to a cold start with a double bogey on the first hole of the tournament. This was an early sign that the PGA Championship may not be his tournament to win in 2019. On the bright side, Tiger is in great shape and his health seems to be holding up as long as he continues to get the proper amount of rest needed. Going into this tournament, it was clear to see that it was not going to suit Tiger’s game as well as Augusta National.

The Highs and Lows of Tiger’s 2019 Season So Far

Tiger has since committed to the Memorial Tournament and seems to be in good spirits. Instead of taking another extended break from competition, Tiger has decided to compete on the courses that he feels like he stands a good chance. He has won the Memorial Tournament five times with three consecutive wins from 1999-2001. It’s not difficult for Tiger to find a course on the schedule that he has won a tournament at one or more times. This experience gives him an edge over the young guys on tour and Tiger will take any advantage he can get at this point in his career.

With the U.S. Open being the week after the Memorial, it gives Tiger a chance to compete and prepare himself for four grueling rounds of the toughest conditions in golf at Pebble Beach for the U.S. Open. As many remember, Woods set records with his -15 U.S. Open victory at the infamous Pebble Beach in 2000. If all goes his way, he has proven that he has a reasonable chance to be at the top of the leaderboard going into the final round.

Woods has not competed at Pebble Beach since the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro Am in 2012 but he has a successful track record on this course and has the experience needed to succeed there. The results of the tournament will heavily depend on the weather and course conditions as it always does for this major tournament. Besides weather and tough conditions, Tiger will have to overcome the dominant Brooks Koepka. Koepka has been unstoppable in major tournaments by winning four in the past two years.

The Highs and Lows of Tiger’s 2019 Season So Far

Brooks will be the heavy favorite heading into the U.S. Open this year. Of his six PGA Tour wins, four of them are majors with the first major being the 2017 U.S. Open. This is a rare level of excellence to see in the game of golf and start to his career success that resembles the likes of Tiger Woods and Jordan Spieth. In recent weeks, Brooks has explained that majors are easier for him to win due to the amount of pressure put on players and the difficulty of the course and he has proven to prevail when given both.

I believe the Memorial Tournament will be a clear indicator of Tiger’s chances at winning the U.S. Open. He seemed to struggle with the driver and his short putts at the PGA Championship. These aspects will need to be fine tuned if he has any hopes of winning at Pebble. To end on a positive note, Tiger was spotted practicing at Pebble between the Masters and the U.S. Open in poor weather conditions. This will give him an advantage heading into the tournament as he will have a fresh feel for the course. Tiger has work to do if he wants to catch Jack’s major tournament wins and a win at Pebble Beach couldn’t come at a better time.

The game of golf is in a better place when Tiger is playing and it would be one of the greatest accomplishments in sports history if Tiger would be able to eclipse Jack’s major record. With the advancements in technology and science, players are able to compete at an older age now, especially when that player is considered one of the best to ever play the game. Tiger’s win at the Masters this year is all the proof he needed to convince everyone that he still has what it takes to win a major.