Tour Confidential: What have you learned about Tiger Woods this week?
Check in each day of this week’s PGA Championship for the unfiltered opinions of our writers and editors as they break down the hottest topic in the tournament, and join the conversation by tweeting us @golf_com.
Tiger Woods battled back from outside the cut line to shoot 69 on Friday and secure a weekend tee time at the PGA Championship. For the second straight day Woods looked tired and was grinding, but he’s now made the cut in both major starts since his remarkable return to the game. What have you learned about Woods this week?
Jessica Marksbury: Tiger’s rally to make the cut displayed the grit and determination we’ve come to expect from him, but I think what I really learned from him today is his adaptability. During Thursday’s first round, loose approaches and a seeming inability to judge bunker shots sunk him. But on Friday, he was like a new player. His approaches were on point, and he made several up and downs from the sand. Somehow, between the end of Thursday’s round and today, he figured out what he needed to do to get around this place with enough finesse to make the weekend, and did it. Impressive, as always.
Josh Sens: Meet the new Tiger, as mentally tough as the old Tiger. Everything else keeps evolving — his body, his swing, the level of the competition, our expectations for him — but not his ability to will his way through a round. I know that simply making the weekend isn’t enough for Tiger. But as outmatched as he looked on Thursday, Friday had to feel like a victory, even for him.
Josh Berhow: Those who aren’t interested in golf or get annoyed by all the attention Tiger Woods gets, even when he’s not contending, really are missing the point of just how remarkable it is that he’s even making cuts, at 46 years old, given what’s happened to him over the last 16 months. CBS Sports’ Kyle Porter said it best in this tweet:
So I guess that’s what I’ve learned: That him even making cuts shouldn’t be something we expect, but it should be appreciated.
James Colgan: I’m not sure we’ve learned anything new about Tiger Friday, but we were reminded of something we’d forgotten: truly great sportsmen (and women) don’t have an off-switch. Tiger is as relentless as they come, which is about the only way he could’ve made squeaking through the cut enamoring television.
Luke Kerr-Dineen: That all the talk of Tiger’s physical health overshadowed that even the GOAT is guilty of the occasional mental error. On Thursday at the PGA Championship, it was Tiger’s Southern Hills strategy that was primarily at fault for his poor performance. As our colleague Dylan Dethier wrote: It was simply too conservative on a course this big. Then, when his body began breaking down later in his round, it ensured a bad strategy was executed poorly. But true to form, Tiger adapted. Rather than opting for 2-iron stinger draws on Friday, he used an intentional push-cut driver as his go-to. It worked. He’ll be around for the weekend, and in doing so revealed yet another lesson to learn from Tiger’s greatness: Even the best make mistakes. It’s how you learn from them — and how quickly — that counts.