What has become of Tiger Woods? Once the steely, ultra-focused and super efficient predator on the course, he was reportedly close to tears at The Open at Royal Liverpool.
A downbeat Woods lamented a succession of errors after the former world number one ended up with round of 69, 77, 73 and 75 to finish six over par, and in the bottom three of the tournament.
After that opening round there had been high hopes that he could challenge, with fans and pundits whispering that, perhaps inspired by memories of his 2006 victory at Hoylake, he might again hit those majestic heights.
But by the end of the week those had crumbled beneath a steady shower of bogeys, and so much so that one BBC commentator even suggested live on air that perhaps Woods should retire from the sport.
He was not at all happy and, according to the Daily Telegraph, "the noise that accompanied the former champion as he made his desultory wrong way round Royal Liverpool was more that of the tired hiss escaping a punctured balloon".
His reactions at this Championship were largely of anger and frustration as this clip of him attempting to break his club demonstrated.
"I made a lot of mistakes," he told reporters at Royal Liverpool. "On top of that I missed a lot of shots for opportunities for birdies."
The 14-times major champion repeatedly made inroads at the first, ninth, 10th, 11th and 16th holes but his progress was halted time and again in a hugely frustrating showing.
World worst Tiger Woods vine https://t.co/LvBD9YzcE0
— James Dixon (@thejamesdixon) July 19, 2014
However, it must be pointed out that Woods was competing in only his second tournament since undergoing back surgery in March - and he still believes his game is going in the right direction.
"I'm starting to get the flow of the round, the flow of playing again," said the 38-year-old American.
"But you just can't run up high scores like that and expect to contend especially when the conditions are this benign.
"Most of the scores are three-under-par or better today and I certainly didn't do that."
He may still find reasons to be positive about his prospects going forward, but what the crowds at Royal Liverpool have seen from Woods at The Open has been a man a long way from happiness on the course.
- Sports & Recreation
- Tiger Woods
- Royal Liverpool