Back 9: Tiger charges but comes up short in AustraliaWritten by Fred Altvater | | BackNine@toledofreepress.com
Tiger Woods played in a warm up event in Sidney, Australia and is beginning to look a little like the Tiger of old. He was striking the long clubs with greater confidence and accuracy, and his putting seemed to be crisp and on target. Except for a slight hiccup in Saturday’s third round at the Emirate’s Australian Open, his scores of 68-67-75-67 reflected a possible return the form that has garnered him 14 major titles.
Tiger’s closing round 5-under par 67 included two bogies and an eagle on the back nine on Sunday, but it wasn’t quite enough as he finished two strokes behind eventual winner Greg Chalmers.
Tiger played in the Australian Open to get in some practice prior to next weeks Presidents Cup matches to be held at Royal Melbourne, one of the oldest and finest golf courses in the world.
Royal Melbourne was founded in 1891 and was originally designed by the famed golf course architect Dr. Alister Mckenzie. McKenzie also designed a few other beautiful and difficult golf courses around the world, Cypress Point, Pasatiempo and Crystal Downs.
As you may recall, Tiger has had a fair amount of success at another of Dr. McKenzie’s more famous designs, Augusta National, where he has won four Green Jackets.
In the history of the Presidents Cup the only International Team win came at Royal Melbourne in 1998. Captain Greg Norman’s International Team is loaded with experience and has five Aussies that are very familiar with the nuances of Royal Melbourne.
Tiger was able to post three good rounds and be in contention for the win at the Australian Open. We will get to see him play again this week down under in the Presidents Cup and he will be in the field for the Chevron World Challenge held December 1-4 in California.
Was Tiger’s performance this week a positive sign that his swing changes are becoming comfortable and dependable under pressure?
Are his personal problems behind him so that he can again concentrate on winning golf tournaments?
Will these last three events of 2011 be a barometer of what to expect from him 2012?
Can he contend again in the majors in 2012 and get back on track to best Jack Nicklaus’s record of 18 major championships?
To read more golf tips and articles from Fred visit www.toledoohiogolflessons.com.