It's hard to believe it, but there is a reason why former World No. 1 Tiger Woods is currently the 195th ranked golfer in the world right now. Surrounded by names like Frenchman Julien Quesne at 194th and South African Jacques Blaauw in 196th, Woods is at his lowest ranking of his professional career since he turned pro in August 1996.
Wood's fall from grace has been extraordinary. He hasn't won a major since the very public breakup of his marriage to Elin Nordegren in 2009. He managed to recover to stay at World No. 1 as recently as last year. His recent split from girlfriend Lindsey Vonn appears to have set his golf back again, and his fall is a hot topic of conversation amongst fans and the rest of the tour.
In fact, when Australian golfer Jason Day was asked for the player's perspective of what's going on with golf's icon, he managed to sum up the situation very well. He starts off with a comment that was probably meant as a compliment, but it highlights where a lot of Tiger goes wrong.
Tell you what, if he could get on the fairway, he'd probably be back to where he was. It's just ridiculous how good his iron play is right now, it's really special.
Tiger always had a tendency to be erratic from the tee, but it's interesting to note where Day thinks Woods' game is at after playing nine holes with him at Chambers Bay yesterday. The Aussie thinks a lot of what's haunting Woods' is from his problems after his split with Vonn, which is contributing to a lack of confidence. This comes just off the back of Woods' last outing that saw him post his first professional round, and worst four-round total of his career at the Memorial Tournament earlier this month.
Despite being a friend, Day acknowledges that Tiger is a very private person about his private life:
Who knows what's going on with Tiger right now? We're friends, but I don't get into his personal life and I don't want to. That's his stuff and he deserves his privacy.
But when it comes to golf, it's very difficult because you could have all the tools in the world, but if you really don't want to be there or if there's something that's off course that's playing on your mind... the game of golf is so mental and if you don't have everything in the right order, it's very difficult to win golf tournaments. I've learned that very early.
Day isn't sure that the golfing world will ever see the same old Tiger that we are used to who strikes fear into those on the leaderboard, and runs away with major titles from the front. Everything will depend on how hard Tiger is working, and despite being known for bringing a ridiculous work ethic to professional golf, Tiger needs to get his private life in order before he can concentrate on golf.
You're climbing Mount Everest and he's fallen off it a couple of times and climbed back up there again. Once people understand how hard it is to climb Mount Everest, it's hard to do it again. I think if he could straighten out that driver, he'd play phenomenal golf, because his iron play and putting is on point.
Whatever happens, Tiger will definitely be one of the biggest draws at Chambers Bay this week, even if he isn't close to the top of the leaderboard.