I had made a rather rash and bold statement that could have come back to haunt me. I said that the reason why Phil Mickelson was welcoming a pairing with Tiger Woods stemmed from the fact that Tiger's best years are now well behind him and I really don't think Tiger presents the same problem for other golfers that he once did.
Tiger will certainly win some tournaments in the future. He will do well enough to surprise some people. But he's not the Tiger of the Tiger Slam years, nor is he as formidable as he once was. The young man has pissed all of that away, and his mental issues are unresolved.
Lee Westwood wound up where he started in The Players Championship - with the lead.
Only now he has a lot more company.
Westwood avoided mistakes on the back nine for a 2-under 70 that gave him a one-shot lead over Robert Allenby going into the final round on the always unpredictable TPC Sawgrass.
Phil Mickelson, nine shots behind at the start of the day, shot a 66 to renew hopes of winning and becoming No. 1 in the world for the first time. He was five shots behind.
Mickelson would have to win and have Tiger Woods finish out of the top five, and Woods did his part. His bogey-bogey finish gave him a 71 and left him 10 shots behind in a tie for 45th.
Tied for 45th is not exactly where we are used to seeing Tiger. What I want to know is, is he fit? Is he feeling any pain in his knee? This is not something that should be ignored. We don't know if he's even a hundred percent, physically. There was a real danger of him missing the cut; expect more of that until things start to turn around for Tiger, assuming they will turn around for him. Only the rubes are making him the favorite in these tournaments. How does your smart money look now, gamblers?
There was a time when Lefty didn't have a single major win to call his own, and it looked like Tiger would rule golf for twenty years or more. Those days are over.