Planet Golf — 19 June 2015 by Bob Sherwin
Woods still sinking to the bottom

UNIVERSITY PLACE, Wa. – It was one of those days for Tiger Woods and it was as painful for him to deal with as it was for golf fans to watch.

And those days are becoming more frequent than at any time in his career.

Woods shot a 10-over par 80 – his worst round ever in a U.S. Open – and beat only two players in the 156-player event at the links-style Chambers Bay.

“Not very happy, that’s for sure. It was a tough day,” Woods said. “Got off to a bad start. I stuck that 6-iron in the ground on the first hole, and then just couldn’t quite get it turned around today.”

“The hardest part is trying to leave yourself below the hole and you can’t because the putts coming down the hills are just — they’re tough to make, put it that way. But the bright side is at least I kicked Rickie’s butt today.”

Only Fowler, who was among the favorites entering the tournament, at 11-under and Rich Berberian Jr., at 13-under were worst than Woods, the former No. 1 player in the world and 14-time major champion.

“It’s one of those things, just got to work through it,” Woods said. “I’m trying as hard as I can to do it, and for some reason I just can’t get the consistency that I’d like to have out there.
I didn’t play much last year and I haven’t played much this year. Knee surgeries are pretty easy compared to a back surgery, the recovery time. And for some reason, it’s just a lot harder dealing with a nerve than a joint.”

Woods, who is on his fourth swing coach, insists that he is on the right track.

“I am, I am. I know when I do it right, it’s so easy,” Woods said. “It just feels easy to control, easy to do it, easy to hit all my shots. I just need to do it more often and build from there.

“I’ve gone through tough phases in each one of these things and I’ve come out okay on the other side.”

Woods, who shot an career-high 85 in the third round of the Memorial Tournament two weeks ago, had shot 76 three times in his previous career worst round.

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Bob Sherwin

Bob grew up in Cleveland, an underdog city with perennial underdog teams, and that gave him an appreciation and an affinity for the grinders in golf, guys such as Rocco Mediate, Jhonattan Vegas and star-crossed John Daly. This is the 44th year for Bob as a sportswriter, the first 34 working for newspapers throughout the west, Tucson (Daily Star), San Francisco (Examiner) and Seattle (Times), and the past 10 years as a freelancer. He has covered just about every sport, including golf tournaments, Tucson Open, Bing Crosby/AT&T Pro-Am, the 1998 PGA Championship, the 2010 U.S. Senior Open, the 2010 U.S. Amateur and the annual Champions Tour Boeing Classic. He also writes articles for golf magazines. For most of his 20 years at the Seattle Times his primary beat was the Mariners. He then picked up Washington men's basketball in the winter. He also was the beat writer for the Sonics, including 1996 when they played the Bulls for the NBA title. After a lifetime hacking on public courses, he finally gave in and joined a country club in 2011, the Members Club of Aldarra near Seattle. He won't win the club championship any time soon with his 14 handicap and default-swing slice but he does have a pair of aces – 37 years apart – and in 2009 came agonizingly close to his ultimate golf goal of scoring in the 70s when he finished with an even 80. He lives in Seattle, and spends part of his winters in Marco Island, Fla.

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