Tiger Woods devastated after Bjorn defeat | Tiger Woods Out of the Accenture Match Devastated
Tiger Woods devastated after Bjorn defeat: Tiger Woods cut a disconsolate figure after his first round exit from the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship at the hands of Thomas Bjorn on Wednesday.
Woods, the top seed in his 16-man bracket against the lowest ranked Bjorn, managed to make a crucial birdie at the 18th to extend the match into sudden death, but raked his tee-shot on the 19th out into the brush and failed to extricate himself fully at the first attempt – leaving the Dane able to make bogey and still clinch the match.
It was an erratic display from Woods, who lost and regained the lead on a number of occasions despite seeing some of his shots find the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club’s various cart paths or spectator stands.
Struggling to compose himself after only his second first round defeat in the competition – the previous occasion coming against Peter O’Malley in 2002 – Woods could only say “I blew it out there”.
“[It was] disappointing, very disappointing,” he added. “I had all the momentum going down 18 and just gave it away.”
The world No. 3 acknowledged that he struck the ball inconsistently all day, uncharacteristically failing to take advantage of a number of great scoring opportunities, something that clearly frustrated him.
“I was hitting every shot I wanted to hit,” Woods said. “Got myself back in the ball game, took the lead. Two easy up-and-downs on the back nine I didn’t make. Putt at 17 I should make every time: I didn’t do that.
“The ball I should have put in play on 19, and consequently, I’m out of here.”
That final drive, which left Woods forced to attempt to recover from prickly scrub, left the American most angry.
“The fairway is, what, 200 yards wide? And I can’t put the ball in the fairway,” he said.
With the first major of the season, the Masters, looming ever nearer, Woods has traditionally played a limited schedule in the run-up to the event at Augusta National. When asked whether he would amend that tactic and play in next week’s Honda Classic, Woods hinted he is just as likely to play even less as he revamps his game – but will not be making any rash decisions.
“Probably now is not the time to ask me right now,” he said.
Magnanimous in victory, Bjorn appeared to be more confident about the evolution of his opponent’s game than Woods himself.
“He’s on his way back, and we all know as players, when you go through stuff like that it can be extremely difficult to play,” Bjorn said. “And he’s just going to need a bit of time to get those things sorted out and then a lot of people put question marks if this guy is going to win golf tournaments again. I think we all know that he’s going to win golf tournaments again.
“And when he lands on one, there’s no stopping him. He’ll go back and he’ll get his confidence up and then he’ll get straight back to where he plays his best. But it can take time.”
The two shared a long embrace at the conclusion of the match, but Bjorn would not reveal what was discussed by the pair.
“That’s between me and Tiger, really,” Bjorn said. “But what I will say is that the game of golf needs him back at his best. And I’ve always been a great friend of his, and we’ve always had a good relationship. And I want to see him back at his best because I think it’s much more fun to go up against him when he’s absolutely at his peak.
“And so it was things down that line. But what was exactly said, that stays between me and Tiger.”
However, not everyone is so optimistic about Woods’ game, with former swing coach Hank Haney saying on Twitter: “For all the talk of Tiger’s poor driving the last six years I have never seen him drive it out of play with a match or tournament on the line.”
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