Dublin - Tiger Woods' deterioration on the golf course is a result of mental
gremlins more than anything physical, six times major winner Nick Faldo
said on Saturday after Woods shot a career-worst round of 85.
me, this has been going on a while," Faldo, now an analyst, said on
Golf Channel after Woods finished 13-over for the third round at the
Memorial tournament in Ohio.
"Three Masters ago, I was on the
(practice) range watching Tiger hit beautiful fades and draws. He was
hitting the ball fabulously. (Then) he walks to the first tee, two snap
"From that day on, I thought to myself, he's not
comfortable, he's starting to fear shots. When you are fearing a shot
before you hit it, we're all in serious trouble."
Woods' score at
Muirfield Village was not exactly out of the blue. Four months ago he
shot an 11-over 82 at the Phoenix Open, his short game in disarray and
his long game not much better.
However, he found some form in time for the Masters, finishing a respectable equal 17th.
But he clearly he has not solved his problems.
Faldo said Woods was still searching for a swing fix during a practice round this week accompanied by coach Chris Como.
"One of the players playing a practice round with Tiger heard him (Woods) say four times (to Como) 'OK, what am I trying now'.
"So they are just searching. It just doesn't look right."
Woods, 39, began working with Como last year after spending four years with Sean Foley.
He has not won a major since the 2008 US Open, but did win five times on the PGA Tour in 2013.
personal life has also been tumultuous the past six years. In 2009, the
revelation of multiple affairs led to a divorce from Elin Nordegren the
Woods began dating Olympic ski champion Lindsey Vonn in 2012, but they broke up recently.
is at an age when a gradual decline on the golf course might be
expected with multiple injuries perhaps contributing to his problems,
but his downfall has been stunning.
As Faldo said: "This is a
sledgehammer to the side of the head. Tiger is going to walk away saying
to himself, what am I going to do next? How do I pull this back. I'm
not too sure he much can handle all of this."