Don’t blame Tiger Woods’ putting, his wedge game or his misses left off the tee for his struggles over the weekend at the PGA Championship. Turns out, Woods coughed up a share of the lead for the second time at a major in the last few months because of his carefree nature.
Having struggled mightily on weekends at major championships all season, Woods decided to change things up heading into Saturday on the Ocean Course with a share of the second-round lead. After blowing his advantage with three bogeys in his first seven holes before officials halted play in the third round due to inclement weather, and failing to break par on the weekend in any of the four majors this year, he probably won’t tinker with his mental approach again any time soon.
“I came out with probably the wrong attitude [Saturday]. I was too relaxed, and tried to enjoy it, and that’s not how I play,” Woods told reporters after closing out his fourth year in succession without winning a grand slam event. “I play full systems go, all‑out, intense, and that's how I won 14 of these things.”
His attempt to be “a little bit happy out there and enjoy it” backfired, as dropped shots piled up like shuttle buses crammed onto the two-way road leading to Kiawah, and a slew of missed fairways and greens led to a third-round 2-over 74. So Woods returned on Sunday five shots back and with his game face on, but it was too little, too late.
“That's not how I play,” he said, referring to the anything-goes outlook he played with on Saturday. “I'm intense and I'm focused on what I'm doing and nothing else matters. I got back to that today and I hit some really good shots and I played the way that I know I can play.
Unable to explain where his Matt Kuchar-like persona came from, Woods conceded he had erred.
“It was a bad move on my part,” said Woods, whose T11 finish -- 11 strokes back of Rory McIlroy’s blistering 13-under -- also cost him a spot in the world golf rankings. Woods is now third, behind McIlroy, whose victory put him back in first place, ahead of No. 2, Luke Donald.