I'm hitting the ball so much farther.
—Woods on Aug. 5, after a second-round 71 at the Bridgestone
I hit the ball so much straighter than I used to.
—Woods on Aug. 6, after a third-round 72 at the Bridgestone
With his friend Bryon Bell on his bag, and his own yardage book in his pocket, Tiger dropped a new ball in front of the pond. He made a beautiful pitch shot and holed a five-footer for a closing bogey. His rounds were 77 and 73, 10 over par, six over the cut line. He has played in 56 majors as a pro, won 14 of them and missed the cut in only three. He took off his hat and approached his two buddies, Paddy and Davis. He smiled briefly.
Woods and Love didn't talk much in the second round, but they did during the first. Woods asked Love, who will be next year's U.S. Ryder Cup captain, who his assistants will be. He asked Davis how his daughter, Lexie, an accomplished equestrienne, was doing. He asked several questions about Davis's son, Dru, a good junior golfer: "Is he taller than you? Can he hit it farther than you? Where's he looking to go?" (Yes, yes, possibly North Carolina.) Tiger wants to play on this year's Presidents Cup team. He wants to play on next year's Ryder Cup team. He wants his old life back.
Playing money games with my buddies, it's just not quite the same. Being out here and being forced to post a score, hit shots, that's a different deal.
—Woods on Aug. 7 after a closing 70 and 37th-place finish at the Bridgestone
As he walked to the scorer's hut at the end of his two-day PGA week, fans were calling out Tiger's name. He didn't acknowledge them. He seldom does. But then he did a rare thing. He flipped his game ball to a charming little girl standing along the rope, a girl maybe slightly younger than Tiger's daughter, Sam, who is four, two years older than Woods's son, Charlie. Tiger was in and out of the scorer's trailer in a minute.
I'm not down. I'm really angry right now.