Anybody hoping to see the Tiger back on the prowl this week will be once again disappointed. The former World Number One was knocked out of the WGC Accenture Match Play in 19 Holes by Denmark’s Thomas Bjorn.
Tiger’s barren spell continued in the Desert and has now stretched to 18 events without a victory, the longest of his career. The longer this spell continues, the harder it’s going to be for Tiger to break out of it. The Desert didn’t seem so barren for the other top players, both Westwood and Kaymer going through to the next round.
There are still flashes of the old brilliance. In particular his shot from the waste area to around 5 feet on the par 4 7th hole at Dove Mountain Golf Club, which set up a welcome birdie after a shaky start. Unfortunately for Tiger, Bjorn added an equally good birdie of his own, holing out from around 30 feet.
Despite never being up on the front nine, amidst several poor shots from both players, Tiger did find himself 1 up walking onto the 12th tee. Several drop shots followed and a birdie was required by Tiger to keep the match alive going down the 18th. He duly delivered but the match all but ended when his wayward drive ended up in a bush on the first sudden death hole. It took three further shots to reach the green and the match was conceded when his twenty foot bogey attempt missed high of the hole, with Bjorn having ten feet for par.
There is plenty of encouragement for Tiger. The breathtaking shots are still there, but the lack of consistency in his driving and with the putter are letting him down. Until there is a week where he rectifies this, the barren run will continue. The game of golf needs Tiger back, but the longer this run continues, the more questions will be raised whether he can regain his former greatness.