Somewhere north of Palm Beach Gardens, Tiger Woods is sitting in his palatial mansion on Jupiter Island and he’d probably tell anyone who’s listening that things went pretty well for him at the just-finished Honda Classic.
“I just think it’s fantastic that he’s playing well.”
That was the Sunday testimony of the only man who owns more major titles than Woods and that would be Jack Nicklaus.
“Overall I’m very pleased with the progress I’ve made.”
That was the post-round, Sunday testimony of Woods, who shot 70-71-69-70. It added up to even par for his week’s work on a very difficult golf course with very difficult conditions most of the way.
“I really played well and I controlled it pretty well for most of the week,” Woods went on to say.
Then there was the Bear Trap, that nasty string of three holes — 15, 16 and 17. Woods played those holes eight-over par. EIGHT OVER! Figure out where he finishes if he’d played them even par.
He knew it.
“I didn’t play the last few holes well the last couple of days, but overall I’m very pleased at the progress I’ve made and I gave myself a chance at it. I was three under par, had four holes to go and if I could’ve gotten two or three more coming in, I could’ve posted early,” he said of his final day’s effort.
The interesting part is that no one knows what’s next for Woods. He gave no indication as to when he’ll play again.
“I think that I need to get back in the gym again and start training. I’ve played a couple weeks here, so get back there and get stronger again and get back at it.” That’s all he would say.
Back in the gym? You wonder if he can improve his driver accuracy in the gym?
The big stick was the least reliable club in his bag at PGA National. That showed on the par fives. Tiger Woods used to devour the par fives. He had eight par fives this week. His results? How about five pars, one bogey, one double-bogey and one, yes one lonely birdie.
You think he needs to work on the driver?
His putting was good, overall, there were some short misses. His short game was excellent, it held him in there on day one when he could barely find a fairway and it basically carried him all week.
But the driver — ugh!
This version of Tiger Woods was decent, but he’s not going to scare anyone.
He sure didn’t strike any fear into the heart of his Sunday playing partner — Web.com guy Sam Burns. Burns was in on a sponsor’s exemption and there he was on Sunday, next to the guy in red and black. He caught Tiger off guard immediately. “I can’t believe all these people showed up to watch me play,” he told Woods on the first tee. “It was tough,” Burns said of the swirling chaos that envelopes a Tiger Woods pairing. “It was really cool. He’s a super nice guy — very encouraging. I don’t know if I’ll get to play with him again but it was definitely the memory of a lifetime.”
Woods didn’t know Burns before Sunday, not many on the course did.
But all the 21-year-old did was go out and beat Woods with a two-under par 68 that earned him a tie for eighth. You can bet that Woods will remember Burns.
While Burns heads back to the Web.com, then the Valspar courtesy of his top 10, Woods heads back to the gym this week.
When will he play again? He’s not telling.
If you had to place a bet, bet on Tiger at Bay Hill in three weeks then at Augusta National on April 5.
Other than that, it’s your typical Tiger Woods hush-hush situation.
If you see him at the gym, please ask him.