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Woods will never regain lost aura

New Woods will have to settle for being part of the field

Posted Dec 09, 2010 by Jeff Dawson

Tiger Woods

Although I have said time and again that Tiger Woods is starting to find some much needed form and return to his best, I think I have to hold my hands up and say, I’m wrong. And I don’t like admitting that but following his latest performance it appears that his fear factor has gone and that players no longer fear him. He has lost his aura. He is now just one of many top golfers in the world but he is no longer the dominant force he was.
And the reason I say this is simple: he lost a four-shot lead for the first time ever in his career to lose the Chevron World Challenge to Northern Ireland’s Graeme McDowell at the weekend and this is the first ever season since he turned professional that he has failed to win a single competition.
Where the Woods of old would have dominated the final day and possibly extended his leading position leaving the result in no doubt, the new Woods shot a disappointing on one-over 73 to thrown the competition away when he had one hand on the trophy.
Fair play to McDowell though. He has had a 2010 that he will never forget and this is the icing on the cake for series of incredible performances both here in Europe and over in America.
But back to Woods. The 34-year-old was tipped to break Jack Nicklaus’s major record but if he doesn’t break this disappointing cycle soon, he will find it so difficult to do so. Don’t get me wrong, I believe he still has the game inside him but other players such as McDowell, Lee Westwood, Martin Kaymer and Rory McIlroy have all closed the gap and don’t fear playing him any longer. McIlroy admitted as much during the Ryder Cup when he said Woods was the one player everyone in the European team wanted to play as they felt they could beat him.
It is this that is worrying for the world number two. How do you rebuild that aura and breed fear back into your opponents? It’s a question many individuals and teams have failed to answer over the years and if Woods can crack that riddle then fair play to him.
For golf though, I think it’s a great thing that we now have many players capable of winning majors and there is no longer such a clear favourite as there has been over the past ten years or so.
Woods will win tournaments and majors again, but he will never win them with the degree of superiority he used to.

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