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Tiger Woods a putting challenged contender at Arnold Palmer Invitational

Roz Zurko's picture

Tiger Woods is still in the hunt as he finishes the midway mark of the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill yesterday.

The old Tiger Woods broke through on Friday as he managed his five birdies, but the modern day putting challenged Woods did show up with that inaccurate stroke showing its ugly face. Coming into the clubhouse Tiger finished at 3 under par round of 68 and starts today tied with six others for 10th on the leader board.

The greens were once again the biggest challenge for Woods, with Thursday’s dried out greens watered heavily for Friday’s round of golf leaving Woods finding their slower pace a tough adjustment. Martin Laird is alone in fist place with a 9 under par, Spencer Levin and KJ Choi follow close behind tied for second with a -8.

Woods starts Saturday as a contender for the win, but things change quickly with the world's most recognized golfer. The old Woods would swing his way up the leader board at a pace never seen before, the new Woods has a tendency to fall off the leader board with that same fast pace. It may be that a change this week in his personal life might be bringing the old Woods back. After all, it did appear that his personal life set his golfing demise into motion, have the winds of golf changed for Woods?

“Tiger Woods New Girlfriend” was the headline news this week, and although they have been seeing each other for several weeks, the news is finally out, probably taking some pressure off Woods, giving him one less secret to hide. His fans responded favorably, even though he is much older than his new love interest. This is a good sign that the Tiger Woods sex scandal has long been put aside by his fans when news of his dating was not met with many negative responses.

The new girl in Tiger Woods life is Alyse Lahti Johnson, who unfortunately did not have a good week. Once her identity was known, her one and only legal embarrassment was plastered all over the headlines, along with her mug shot for her one DUI arrest. The charge was later knocked down to a reckless driving charge for rear ending a car. This is the only dirt the media was able to dig up about Lahti, and now that everything is out in the open, we might be seeing a much more relaxed Woods. This may be what he is experiencing in this tournament, a man who can finally concentrate on the game of golf without his personal life crowding his thoughts.

Friday’s crowds echoed the days when Woods was the man to beat with cheers when he put his fist in the air after a good shot. The fans have come around, with many never losing regards for Woods, and are ready for the old Tiger Woods to come back. With two days left to play in the Arnold Palmer Invitational anything can happen with Tiger Woods. A win for Woods this weekend may very well set the Tiger Woods of yesterday back into motion.

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