Eldrick “Tiger” Woods said his 2018 career renaissance has been grueling.
He played in 18 tournaments, including all four majors —his most in a season since 2012. He capped off the year with a top-10 finish at the British Open, a second place finish in the PGA Championship and later winning the Tour Championship in September for his first PGA Tour victory in five years and his 80th career win overall.
The week after winning that tournament, Woods was shut out in four matches during the Ryder Cup in Team USA’s loss to Europe. It was during the Ryder Cup that all that golf finally caught up to the 42-year-old Woods.
“I was not physically prepared to play that much golf at the end of the year,” Woods told ESPN’s Bob Harig. “It’s one of those years; it’s never been this hot. At every single tournament, it was just stifling. Starting out in D.C. [in June for the Quicken Loans National], then you go to Akron, even the PGA [Championship] was hot for all the days. New York, Boston. It was in the mid-90s at East Lake [in Atlanta].
“It was just hot,” he added. “It was hard for me to maintain my strength and my weight through all of that. I was exhausted by the time I got to the Ryder Cup. I was worn out mentally, physically, emotionally.”
Woods wasn’t too tired to take on Phil Mickelson last Friday in a pay-per-view event simply dubbed “The Match.” Unfortunately for Tiger, Mickelson won The Match and the $9 million prize in a playoff that needed four extra holes and a lot of playful trash talking.
“A day like today is not going to take anything away from [Tiger’s] greatness,” said Mickelson. “He’s the greatest of all time. But to have just a little bit of smack talk for the coming years means a lot to me because I really don’t have much on him.”