Originally Posted by Trekchick
Here's what I think(not that I'm right, I rarely am)
I think that Tiger thought a lot on the plane ride home from the British Open about how he needs to play competitively to keep his natural talent and skill set honed for the majors.
There is no doubt that he has more natural talent than imaginable, and there is no doubt that he can pull off the impossible shots, but he's still coming back from the knee injury and he's been selective about where and when he's played, .........
that is until the disappointing flight home from the BO.
I get the feeling that he's amping things up!
I agree (sort of). Looking at Tiger's career stats, he's played 232 career events over the last 14 years, averaging roughly 17 events a year. The Buick will be his 11th event of 2009, putting him on relative pace with the rest of his career, so there doesn't seem to be a major departure from his scheduling style.
What has astonished me, and where I think you're partially correct, is how much of a grind it has been for Tiger in recent majors. Two very imperfect barometers for his previous dominance in majors could be the size of his 54 hole lead and his lowest round of the tournament. When I think of TW, those two things, leading after 54 and riding into the sunset on Sunday as well as having a real "wow" round, typify his previous performance in majors.Wikipedia
will partially tell the story, with 54 hole leads of 10, 9, 6, and 4, as well as numerous rounds of 63, 65, 66, etc. Obviously, the 71-74 CUT at The Open stands out, but his 5 of his last 6 major wins include rounds of 66 or better (the exception being the 2008 U.S. Open) and the 54 hole lead (clearly, since he's never won a major without it).
Therefore, it would make sense for Tiger to play more when the courses and competition are a bit easier so he can, dare I say "re-learn", how to dominate. I do a similar thing, where at the beginning of the season I usually play from the women or senior tees to get used to making birdies and having iron shots into the greens from the fairway (I don't use my driver, but use whatever iron puts me in the same position the driver would from my normal tees). By doing so, I provide myself with the experience of making birdies, giving me a psychological boost. Tiger could be doing a very similar thing, and if so, I hope he returns to his previous jaw-dropping form.