The Reuters global sports blog
Will Woods miss the cut again?
Among a bucketful of intriguing storylines going into this week’s Players Championship at the TPC Sawgrass is speculation on whether Tiger Woods will miss consecutive cuts on the PGA Tour for the first time in his career.
The American world number one, comfortably the greatest player of his generation and arguably of all time, was a shadow of himself at last week’s Quail Hollow Championship where he coughed and spluttered his way to scores of 74 and 79.
Woods ended up missing the cut there by the proverbial country mile, only the sixth time in his professional career he had failed to advance to the weekend.
It’s anyone guess as to the emotional state of his mind at the moment following his stunning fall from grace at the end of last year.
Woods will be playing only his third tournament of the season at Sawgrass, having returned to the game after a self-imposed break of five months following sordid revelations about extra-marital affairs.
While most of his peers expect him to bounce back at a venue where he triumphed in 2001, Masters champion Phil Mickelson is a marginal favourite on the betting exchanges for the event widely considered the “fifth major” by the players.
This in itself is ground breaking as Woods has never previously gone into a tournament without being the favourite on the betting exchanges, which came into inception just under a decade ago.
“You can never write the number one in the world off at any stage,” said Britain’s Ian Poulter, a runner-up to Swede Henrik Stenson at last year’s Players Championship.
“He needs two shots or an hour on the range to find a swing … and all of a sudden he’s out there winning golf tournaments.”
Mickelson, who clinched his fourth major title at last month’s Masters, agreed.
“Tiger has one of the most impressive records, if not the most impressive record, in the history of the game,” the American left-hander said. “I won’t ever underestimate him.
“Regardless of what he did last week, knowing the type of competitor he is, I expect him to come back and be the Tiger that we are used to seeing on the golf course.”
What do you think? Will Tiger make the cut at Sawgrass or will he make golf history for the wrong reason?