If I had to give Tiger a grade, I’d give him a B today. I think he fit nicely somewhere in between playing really well and just playing average.
When I look at Tiger’s game I think his dominance comes from four main areas.
-He hits more approaches closer to the hole than anyone else
-He makes more putts inside 10 feet anyone else.
-He gets approaches when he misses the green closer than anyone else.
-He dominates the par-5s.
If you break it down into those four parts, I think you just have to say Tiger was average. He hit a lot of great approaches today. That one on 9 has to be one of his all timers. That was a great shot. He was particularly good with long iron shots into the par-5s, where he was legitimately in range for 3 eagles(2/3 on those putts)
The flip side, of course, is that his short game was a little lazy today. Making those eagle putts was nice, so you definitely can’t discount them, but he missed a few short birdies and a few short par putts. Nothing out of the ordinary, but a few more makes(or conversely, a few more misses) and it was a different round. Part of those missed par putts, too was Tiger was not getting his chips as close as he normally does. His ball-striking looked fine to me, the short game will be interesting to watch over the next three days.
I get the impression that when you add all that up, Tiger deserved a 68 today. A few shots here and there and it could have been a 64 or a 72, but Tiger probably deserved a 68.
Here’s a look at his odds after each hole starting with the 6th.
Again, if Tiger had been able to make par 7, par 14, get short ones to drop on 12 and 18, that’s a 64. When you add everything up 68 is good and deserved, but he was thisclose to shooting something really special.