Silver Chips Online

Tiger's hunt for victory

By Myla Sapp, Online Sports Editor
July 21, 2010
On Sunday, July 18, South African golfer Louis Oosthuizen won the 2010 British Open in St. Andrews, Scotland. The 27-year-old champion was the underdog of the tournament, but successfully defeated several golf legends in the competition, including Phil Mickelson and Lee Westwood. Though Oosthuizen's seven-stroke victory was an outstanding performance, perhaps the greatest amount of post-tournament attention centered on Tiger Woods, who unfortunately finished 13 strokes behind the winner. Yet another disappointing performance by Woods in the competition has spectators wondering if the once great competitor has truly lost his touch.

Tiger Woods watches his drive in round three of the 2010 British Open in St. Andrews, Scotland. Courtesy of ESPN.com
Tiger Woods watches his drive in round three of the 2010 British Open in St. Andrews, Scotland.
Since his return to golf after his marriage scandal last November, Woods has participated in seven tournaments and not won any of them. A seven-match losing streak is extremely unusual for Woods, who prior to his domestic dishonesty was at the top of his game, winning the British Open consecutively in 2005 and 2006. It is sad to see such a prestigious golfer hit a low point in his career in just a matter of months. Although he seems to be declining, Woods’ reign of greatness is far from over.

Several factors must be considered while examining Woods’ progressive downfall, the most prominent of which is the pressure he has received as a result of his infidelity; those who have not forgiven Woods for his marital mistakes create an extra layer of scrutiny and hate for him to overcome. While Woods is obviously aware of his long list of critics and naysayers who no longer want him to take part in the sport, Woods must look past them if he wants to play up to his full potential once again.

And even with his temporary decline, thoughts that Woods’ era of dominance is over are undoubtedly premature. After all that he has gone through in the past year, Woods still managed to finish within the top 25 places in the first three majors of the year. Woods was absent from the sport for a considerable amount of time, and during his leave from professional golf, he was unable to practice his craft - which of course hurt his game. Seeing as how he is still at the top of the rankings despite his chaotic personal life, Woods cannot be cast aside just yet.

Golf is a mental sport in many ways, and after watching him win numerous golf majors year after year, golf fans know that Woods is one of the mentally toughest golfers ever to play the game. Woods is still fairly young, and in time he will be at the top of his game once again – all he needs is a bit of time to rebuild. Regardless of how long it takes, a strong comeback by Woods is surely in the future.

http://silverchips.mbhs.edu/story/10217