Tiger has himself to blame for missing Open cut

BY foxsports • July 21, 2009

When the end came, he seemed to accept his fate like the soldier he would've been if he hadn't been diverted by a freakish ability to get a little white ball into a hole.

Tiger Woods understood there was no point praying for the late collapse of others which would've delivered the 'small m' miracle he needed just to make the cut at this 138th British Open.

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He knew, well before it was official, that it was too much to ask that the cut line would move up to five over par and that, consequently, he would not be playing on the weekend at a major for only the second time as a professional (and only the first time without a legitimate reason given the death of his father and mentor, Earl, prior to the 2006 U.S. Open).

Woods gritted his teeth and stepped forward to face the media scrum, his metaphorical firing squad, and didn't ask for a blindfold.

"I just made mistakes," he said of his catastrophic second-round 74, "And obviously you can't make mistakes and expect to not only make the cut but also try and win a championship. You have to play clean rounds of golf and I didn't."

And therein lies the truth of perhaps the most shockingly disappointing day of Tiger Woods' career in majors.

His demise came entirely at his own hands.

It didn't happen because he was on the wrong side of the draw, as was the case at Bethpage. Everyone had to deal with the howling winds on Friday which whipped off the Irish Sea and turned Turnberry treacherous.

It didn't happen because Woods lipped out putts or didn't have his swing all week — like at Augusta — because he had it working serviceably for large stretches.

It wasn't the fault of his swing coach, Hank Haney, who didn't accompany him to a major for the first time since they began their association.

No, this debacle, I'm afraid, was all on Tiger.

He has to ask himself how he could play so well and with such confidence in winning tournaments like the Memorial and AT&T, and then seem so hesitant and unsure of himself just weeks later at majors.

"You don't often see him play shots like that, some of the shots he played," said Lee Westwood, who played alongside Woods in both rounds.

"But everybody is entitled to a bad day every now and again. It happens to all of us. It's difficult out there."

Is Tiger Woods really entitled to a bad day every now and again? Does capitulation happen to him when he's on the grandest stage and in his hour of need? And when has it ever mattered to Woods how difficult it is?

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