Despite all of the scrutiny that he has been subjected to over the past year, Tiger Woods remains his own worst critic. After continuing what can only be described at this point as a “free fall” down the golfing hierarchy on Thursday, Woods held back no punches – on himself.
"I'm really angry right now," he said, "and there are a lot of words I could use beyond that."
Having shot a 77 in the opening round of the tournament, Woods felt like an afterthought in the midst of everything happening at Atlanta Athletic Club. He was a B-plot, intriguing for the circus act his career has become moreso than for anything he could do on the course.
His continuing spiral, highlighted by the second-worst score he has ever put up in a major as a pro, served in stark contrast to Steve Stricker’s dominance. By shooting a record-tying 63, Stricker got off to the best possible start anyone could have hoped for en route to what looks to be a very exciting next few days.
Unlike Stricker, Woods’ PGA tour season is hanging on by a thread. If he were to miss the cut in this one and then go along with his plan to forego next week’s tournament in Greensboro, N.C., Woods would be ineligible for the playoffs.
Woods finished the day tied for 132nd in the field of 156.
"I've been through this process before with Butch (Harmon) and Hank (Haney), and now with Sean," Woods said. "You peak for these events. And once you get to a major championship, you just let it fly, let it go. I did, and it cost me the round.
"I was having mechanical thoughts through those first five holes, and I figured I was 3-under so I can start letting it go and just play by instinct and feel - and that just screwed up my whole round," Woods said. "I'm not at the point where I can do that yet."
After every single one of Woods’ recent tournament falters, the same line seemed to follow: give him time. Unfortunately, everyone’s patience is running thin at this point. The time for easing Tiger back into the swing of things has come and gone, and now all people want to see are results.
There is no more “next time." There is only now. And nobody is more aware of that fact than Woods himself.