It didn't take a rocket scientist to deduce that Tiger was tired at Le Golf National, but now the man himself has said it.
Tiger Woods confirmed what anyone who watched last month's Ryder Cup debacle could easily see: the 14-time major champion was low on energy during the U.S.' 17.5-10.5 loss to Europe, during which Woods himself went 0-4.
"It was just a cumulative effect of the entire season," Woods said during a Q&A session at the Tiger Woods Invitational, an elite amateur event he hosts on the Monterey Peninsula. "I was tired because I hadn't trained for it. I hadn't trained this entire comeback to play this much golf, and on top of that, deal with the heat and the fatigue and the loss of weight."
With his disappointing performance at Le Golf National, Woods' overall Ryder Cup record dropped to 13-21-3. He is 0-7-1 over his last two appearnces in the biannual competition.
The week before the Ryder Cup, Woods, 42, won his first even in five years at the Tour Championship. And the Ryder Cup was his fifth event in six weeks, as he played all four FedEx Cup playoff events in the weeks leading up to Le Golf National.
It was a grueling final stretch to a remarkable comeback season for Woods, who missed the better part of two years as he had multiple back surgeries, the latest of which was a spinal fusion that he says saved his career. He said early in this comeback that he did not know how many events he would be able to play, but his body held up as he played a full season of 18 events, the most he's played in any one year since 2013.
The weight loss likely occured for two reasons: first, Woods is, by his own description, a profuse sweater. He frequently loses multiple pounds during the course of a tournament and changed shirts incessantly at the PGA Championship. Second, Woods' busy schedule meant he couldn't hit the weight room as hard as he so famously likes to. When he was asked what's next for him after the BMW Championship, he pointed to the gym.
"I need to start really lifting and getting after it and getting stronger in certain areas, because playing every single week seems like every single day is maintenance at this point, a war of attrition.”
Such a commitment to weightlifting will surely raise the eyebrows of many. Woods is, after all, a man in his 40s with a long injury history. But an intense gym regimen has always been a large part of Woods' process. The thought of him with a full offseason of work, with the comfort of knowing his back can handle it, must be scary to fellow PGA Tour players.