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Tiger traps himself

Tiger Woods walks to the fourth tee during the final round of the PGA Championship golf tournament at Oak Hill Country Club, Sunday, Aug. 11, 2013, in Pittsford, N.Y. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

If only Tiger putted as deftly as he reasoned his way around Oak Hill.

"Is it concerning? No. As I've said, I've been there in half of ‘em. So, that's about right," Tiger said Sunday following the PGA Championship when asked about his majors drought. "Just got to get it done."

Thing is, well before finishing 14 shots behind the winner in a tie for 40th, Tiger said much the same thing.

"Overall I feel very pleased with where my game's at…" Tiger has told reporters more times than we can count (#NoMath), including numerous occasions this past week at Oak Hill, despite failing to shoot in the 60s and ever becoming a factor on the leaderboard.

Once upon a time, Tiger was his own harshest critic. Not anymore. Win or lose -- Tiger still heaps praise on himself and his own game.

Like leading up to the PGA Championship when Tiger was asked about the 2013 season:

"This year for me I think has been a great year so far for me," Tiger said last Tuesday. "Winning five times and look at the quality of the events that I've won."

See, the Tiger Woods that used to win majors would never call a season without a major -- "great."

No way, no chance. Instead of teeing off, he'd be genuinely tee'd off.

Now, instead of pointing to his current failures, Tiger chooses to discuss his past successes. At the risk of psychoanalyzing the greatest golfer of our generation, how can Tiger win if he settles and doesn't demand more out of himself?

Opportunities to win do not equate to actual wins and should not be mentioned in the same sentence. Alas, here's Tiger's take on this season to date:

"I've had certainly my share of chances to win. I've had my opportunities there on the back nine on probably half of those Sundays in the last five years where I've had a chance and just haven't won," Tiger said on Tuesday. "The key is to just keep giving myself chances."

Again -- Tiger rationalizes (instead of scrutinizes) the state of his game by bringing up the pleasant past in place of the not-so-pleasant present.

"I put together four good rounds last week," he said. "Unfortunately, it wasn't this week. I didn't seem to hit it as good and didn't make many putts until the last few holes."

Let's put it this way: until the new Tiger demands the old Tiger out of himself, he's still not the same guy pictured on his driver's license.

About the Author

School: California

When you started with Bonneville Phoenix: KTAR/KMVP = 1998

Favorite sports memory: Phoenix Open 1997 - Sitting under the ropes at the 16th green and watching Tiger Woods tee off with a 9-iron. 152 yards and two bounces later...the hole-in-one results in an unmatched moment of bedlam and pandemonium. I'm still suffering from partial hearing loss.

Favorite all-time athlete: Barry Sanders. How can a guy my size make the rest of the NFL look so helpless and hapless? No such thing as an open-field tackle of Barry Sanders, not unless it's a gang tackle.

Favorite sports movies: Rocky - "He doesn't know it's a damn show. He thinks it's a damn fight!"

Gone in 60 Seconds - The Shelby Mustang has great measurables and is elusive in open field!


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