“It’s hard to put it together for all four days as you get older,” Woods said. “It’s just harder.”
Woods acknowledged the “missed opportunities” that have resulted from various layoffs over the course of his career, but he does not dwell on them, he said. In fact, he said he was “blessed” that he was still competing. Against the odds, he has unearthed new opportunities.
“I didn’t think I would have these,” he said.
Brandel Chamblee, an analyst for the Golf Channel and a former tour pro, said in a telephone interview that he saw no signs that Woods was suffering last month at Torrey Pines.
“The evidence would be a short swing, a quick transition, a wince here or there at a golf course where he so obviously showed the full extent of his injuries and his pain,” Chamblee said, referring to Woods’ win at the 2008 U.S. Open. “But it looks like he’s playing with freedom. His golf swing is longer than it’s ever been, and it’s certainly never been this fluid.”
Woods had certain shots that could have caused problems, Chamblee said. During the second round, for example, Woods had to take a whack out of the bunker on No. 12. The following day, he found the thick rough on No. 13. But he seemed unbothered by it all — including brisk conditions and some fog that delayed the start of his third round.
“Warming up in the cold and the fog, and having to stop and start, stop and start,” Chamblee said. “These things are not good for a bad back.”
But Woods survived. And in Los Angeles, he has a fresh opportunity to make more history, by winning on a course where he has never won. After all these years, the show goes on.