TIGER Woods might long for the day when all anyone questioned was his swing.
Because until now, no one ever doubted his putting.
But as Woods began his road to the Masters this week at the Honda Classic, scrutiny shifted from his new swing to what used to be the most reliable part of his game.
Poised to make a run at Pebble Beach, Woods badly missed a 5-foot birdie putt on the second hole and missed from 3 feet for par on the seventh hole just as Phil Mickelson was pulling away. Woods three-putted the last hole for a 75.
“I could not get comfortable where I could see my lines,” he said. “I couldn’t get the putter to swing.”
Last week at the Match Play Championship, despite missing two birdie putts inside 10 feet on the back nine as he tried to rally, Woods had a birdie putt from just outside 5 feet on the 18th hole to extend his second-round match against Nick Watney.
The putt never even touched the hole.
“I should be able to fix it in a day,” Woods said.
There was that 6-foot birdie putt to force a playoff at the PGA Championship in 2000 during his sweep of the majors. The 15-foot putt in the dark at the Presidents Cup in South Africa. And perhaps the biggest one of all, the 12-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole at Torrey Pines that got Woods and his shattered leg into a playoff at the U.S. Open.