I wrote this in another thread, and I think it backs up what Brandle is saying about Tiger.
The Tiger Championship Era spans 46 majors that occur starting with the 1997 Masters and extending thru the June 2008 US Open at Torrey Pines. In that time period Tiger never once had a DNP (did not play) and had only 1 missed cut which occurred at Winged Foot immediately following his father’s death. He won 14 times in 46 chances. Let’s look at this time period closely:
8 times 2nd or 3rd
7 more times he finished 4th thru 10th (top 10)
0 DNP (did not play)
1 MC (missed cut)
Tiger’s worst finish besides the lone MC is the only time he ever finished outside the top 30 during his run of championships and that is the 39th place finish in the 2003 PGA. So most of that time he was either winning or he was on the leaderboard where has fans believed he could and perhaps would win.
Now let’s compare this to The Tiger Post Championship Winning Era. This new era began at the 2008 Open Championship and extends thru today, a period where there have been 25 Majors played. Let’s look closely:
2 times top 3
7 more times top 10
6 times DNP
2 times MC
Never once played like the Tiger of Championship winning form. Not for four days anyway.
In the Post Championship era Tiger has nearly been just as likely to not play or miss the cut than to make a top 10. The majors are now being consistently won by players that are younger and healthier than Tiger Woods. Tiger not only did not win one major in the last 27 majors, but his time on leader boards where he even had a chance of winning is getting smaller. Let’s look at the 9 events where he placed in the top 10 during the Post Championship Era.
2009 Masters – Tiger shot his only round in the 60’s on Sunday to claw back into a 4 way tie for 6th place with guys like John Merritt and Steve Flesch. He was never within 6 shots of the lead while on the course, so he had no real chance to win. Angel Cabrera beat Kenny Perry and Chad Campbell in a playoff.
2009 US Open – Tiger shot himself out of contention playing the final 4 holes of round 1 in +4 to finish with an opening round 74. He played well after that but never clawed back into the top 10 until the final round. Finished in T6. Lucas Glover would win over a badly fading Ricky Barnes and Phil Mickelson.
2009 PGA – Tiger led wire to almost wire, but he faded badly on the back 9 on Sunday and lost to Y.E. Yang. Tiger had a 4 shot lead after 36 holes and lost by 3 after that Sunday 75. This is where his aura of invincibility ended.
2010 Masters – Tiger was in a tie for 3rd after two rounds but did nothing special on the weekend. Other players posted some low scores and Phil Mickelson ends up at -16. Tiger finished at -11 never threatening on Sunday.
2010 US Open – Played at Pebble Beach, the site of one of Tiger’s historic wins. Tiger starts slowly but shoots himself into contention with a brilliant Saturday 66. Fades on Sunday with a 75 to finish in a T4 position with Phil Mickelson 3 shots behind the winner Graeme McDowell. This event, along with the 2009 PGA Tournament, was probably his best chance in the post championship era, but he shot 75 on Sunday.
2011 Masters – Again Tiger was in position, but a poor Saturday 74 doomed him. He played well on Sunday to claw back to T4, 2 shots behind Jason Day and Adam Scott and 4 behind winner Charle Schwartzel but he was coming from way too far behind to ever get into the lead.
2012 British Open – Tiger was always lurking but never really threatened. He trailed by 3 shots after round 1, 4 shots after round 2, 5 shots after round 3, and 4 at the end. Six different players in the final top 15 shot a score low enough that had Tiger equaled it he would have won, but he shot a Sunday 73 to finish 4 shots behind eventual winner Ernie Els and 3 behind faltering Adam Scott . Tiger was 7 back when he walked off the course.
2013 Masters – Tiger’s 70-73-70-70 was consistent and workman like, but he never really threatened. Finished T4 with Marc Leishman, 2 shots behind Jason Day and 4 behind Angel Cabrera and playoff winner Adam Scott.
2013 British Open – Tiger opens up 69-71 to get into a T2 position behind Angel Jimenez. He then proceeds to shoot 72-74 on the weekend. Phil Mickelson boat raced the field with a Sunday 66 to win the Claret Jug.
The Championship Era Tiger is right there, either winning or getting close most of the time. The Post Championship Era is filled with DNP’s and MC’s, and when Tiger does contend he gets sort of close at the end but never threatens the actual lead. It is mostly claw backs into the top 10 OR a few times a bad Sunday fade from winning contention.
Today we see younger players taking championships. Men in their prime like Adam Scott, Justin Rose, Charl Schwartzel, Bubba Watson, Rory McIlroy, Webb Simpson, and Martin Kaymer.