Monday, November 11, 2013


Our scribes go head-first into those topics and more in this week's edition of Monday Four-Ball.

1. What did Tiger do best (and worst) in his T-3 finish at the Turkish Airlines Open?

Michael Collins, senior golf analyst: Tiger's best was averaging 26.5 putts per round. His worst was only hitting 38.5 percent of his fairways, which is atrocious. There's plenty of time to work it out until Augusta, though.

Farrell Evans, senior golf writer: It's hard for some people to believe, but Tiger gets beat sometimes. He shot 20 under in Turkey. In most tournaments, that's good enough to win. Yet he struggled with his swing Sunday.
That's not news with Tiger, but he held it together, despite battling his driver and fighting a minor arm injury. Increasingly, his occasional poor rounds and swing breakdowns are costing him tournaments. That's good news for the rest of the players.

Bob Harig, senior golf writer: He gave himself a lot of chances, mostly due to strong iron play, which resulted in 27 birdies and his second-lowest 72-hole total (268) of the year. But his driver let him down, as evidenced by his lack of domination of the par-5s. He played the 20 par-5s in 10 under. He needed an eagle at the par-5 18th on Sunday to have any chance and instead missed the fairway, leading to a par.

Kevin Maguire, senior golf editor: For the best aspect, he minimised his mistakes. On two separate occasions in 2013, Woods' fewest number of bogeys or worse in a tournament was six (both were victories at the Players Championship and WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.) This past week in Turkey, Woods only had seven bogeys or worse. Also, what reminded me of the Tiger of old was how on the 18th hole in the third round, he hit his tee shot so far left that he had to reload and hit a provisional. Well, he found his first one and didn't just avoid dropping a shot but made a birdie on the par-5. 
That's the Tiger who could turn 74s into 68s.
On the downside, Tiger was 10 under on the 20 par-5 holes for the week. Winner Victor Dubuisson was 14 under on those same holes. That's a 4-shot difference, and Woods finished 4 shots behind the Frenchman.



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