LEMONT, Illinois, AP
Let everyone else worry about the state of Tiger Woods’ game. He’s not concerned. Woods was never in contention in the Western Open, shooting a 1-under 71 Sunday to finish 13 strokes behind winner Scott Hoch. He tied for 20th, the first time since 1998 he’s finished three tournaments in a row out of the top 10. He tied for 12th in the U.S. Open and tied for 16th in the Buick Classic. “It’s not like I am struggling to break 90 out there,” said Woods, whose victory at the Masters in April gave him four straight victories in major championships. “Even though I’m not playing the way I know I can, I am still kind of there. All I need to do is just get a couple of good shots going, get the ball on my side.” Yes, but he’s Tiger Woods. The No. 1 player in the world, the man who draws tens of thousands of fans to every tournament he plays. Isn’t there something wrong if he’s not at least contending for every tournament he enters? “I know the ebb and flows of the media,” Woods said. “They make more of it when you are playing well, and they make more of it when you are playing bad. It’s just the way it is.” Woods didn’t like the way he was swinging in the U.S. Open or the Buick Classic, but he felt he got things figured out at the driving range Friday night. He played better Saturday, too, shooting a 68 that left him seven strokes back. But he wasn’t sharp Sunday, hitting just six of 14 fairways and eight of 18 greens. “I was good (Saturday) on the range and it stayed there. For some reason, I just didn’t carry it over to today,” Woods said. “The good thing is, I putted great. It’s just one or the other. Either I’m hitting it good and not putting worth a darn, or I’m making everything and hitting all over the lot. “So I just need to get both of them going and I will be all right.” Woods left for Europe on Sunday night to start preparing for the British Open.
He’ll play some golf, do some fishing and relax with some friends before heading to England. The British Open is July 19-22 at Royal Lytham and St. Annes. “You have one week, two weeks before (the British Open) starts,” Woods said. “There’s a lot of things I can do between now and then.”