So says the New York Times:
Tiger Woods did not turn back the clock, after all. He was 42 years old, not 32, and 10 years is a long time to be off the biggest stage. Even the great Tiger Woods, whose final-round score of 71 gave him a tie for sixth place, learned that summoning a champion’s resolve on command after a lengthy layoff might be one of the more difficult tasks in sports.
It may be particularly true if you are Tiger Woods. He is a tough act to follow.
Rory McIlroy, who tied for second, two strokes behind Francesco Molinari, could relate, even if in a lesser way. McIlroy has four major titles, but none since 2014.
“Even though he’s won 14,” McIlroy said of Woods, “you have to learn how to get back. This was his first taste of a major championship drama for quite a while. You still have to relearn to deal with it. I’m relearning
“It’s still great to have him back. It’s still great for golf.”
But McIlroy, 29, was making it clear that he did not think the old Woods was on his way back.
“Not that Tiger,” McIlroy said, adding: “It’s a different version. But he’s right there. He’s getting himself in the mix.”
Woods wasn’t interested in comparing versions of himself on Sunday. His first comment after coming off the 18th green would have been familiar in any era of his career.
“A little ticked off at myself,” he said. “I had a chance starting that back nine to do something, and I didn’t do it.”
Woods vaulted himself into first place with birdies on the fourth and sixth holes, which coincided with a rash of bogeys by the golfers who started the day ahead of him.
“It was a blast,” he said with a wide grin.
Feel like old times?
“It did, it did,” Woods answered. “It didn’t feel any different.”