Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Tiger's an Afterthought at Us Open

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Tiger's an Afterthought at Us Open

Article excerpt

The U.S. Open is coming, and it's weird, treacherous and mind- blowing, with potential for great embarrassment.

But enough about Tiger Woods' game.

Actually, I doubt we'll ever reach the point where we've had our fill and totally stop caring about the Big Cat.

But he's certainly making a case for the casual fan to move on.

There really has been nothing to see here for quite a while. It's as if Woods is fighting off the stages of death of a sports icon's career, shrinking from golf deity to garden-variety celebrity to colorless curiosity.

He trudges into the U.S. Open this week in a once-unfathomable position: He's an afterthought, a footnote, playing a minor role in a major.

He has managed to pull off another impossible feat, making any and all expectations disappear.

Unlike other times when he has retooled his swing on the fly, Woods reports to Chambers Bay riding not a ripple of momentum.

He offers little or no hope - not for him or us - after finishing dead last and shooting his worst round as a pro at The Memorial recently. No one thought. Woods would ever actually shoot 85 until he turned 85. Woods had to finish as a single and was pulling his own flagsticks while his caddie raked sand traps that claimed his approach shots.

He doesn't look remotely close to the same guy who just two years ago won five times and was named Player of the Year. Woods has just one top-25 finish this season - 17th place at the Masters.

Woods is still an attraction, even when he's shooting Arnold Palmer's age, but it's sad when you're rubber-necking to check out the mishap on the side of the road. Watching a superstar fade and fumble around can be cringe-worthy and certainly compelling for longtime Tiger-haters.

Golf is such a maddening head game that some players who tumble into the abyss never fully recover. …

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