The decline of Tiger Woods?

caines | 6/20/2013, 5:30 a.m.

Many fans of Tiger Woods are waiting and hoping that at some point, the world's number one golf player will get his mojo back. While Tiger has exhibited flashes of his once dominant self-winning tournaments here and there, his drought in majors continues. In the just concluded U.S. Open, Tiger once again crumbled when it mattered most and it now has been five long years since Woods last won a major.We remember his dominant past and yearn for those days again. Tiger Woodsdressed inred, on a Sunday afternoon at the U.S. Open,cameras flashing, network executives drooling because Tiger is lurking and of course excitedfans holding their breath as a ball rolls toward the cup, Swoosh! Another epic performance from Tiger, oh we remember but it seems like a long time ago now. There was actually talk Tiger was the world's most dominant athlete in fact, if you were born in 90's or after, it might be the only iconic image youare familiar with when watchingthe game of golf. Yetthere we were this past Sunday at theU.S. Open, all the drama belonged a thousand yards away from Woods' thousand-yard stare. His par putt on 17 veered right and left him at 13-over par for the tournament. He would finish there and card the worst score to par in a major in his professional career. He failed again. Frustration surely has settled in, Tiger at times appears so close yet he remains so far. Early in his career Woods was racking up majors like I once collected comic books and he seemed a sure thing to surpass the great Jack Nicklaus for most majors in a career. Now there are many obstacles as Woods majors drought has hit a five year high. He is battling nagging injuries and his once intimidating presence scares no one not anymore. Woods' overall play since the fire hydrantdust upin 2009 has been getting better, but he tends toslip away on the weekends, especially in majors. He was three-over going into this past Saturday's third round, and he ended up 10 shots worse than that.It has become somewhat predictable. Woods is agreat athlete but he puts a lot ofstrain on that left knee every time he swings the club. That can take its tollon any man who's been playing agame as aggressively as Tiger has for his entire life. Woods sure didn't seem vexed after his round. Asked what he did well and what he did poorly this week, he answered, I did a lot of things right. Unfortunately I did a few things wrong, as well. Yes Tiger put a positive spin on things, but he was flat out awfulat Merion he scored bogey or worse 21 timescompared to10 birdies. Thosedramatic Sundays with Tiger Woods mowing down the competition with the networks celebrating a ratings bonanza now seem like a long, long time ago. Time will tell but we may have already seen the best of Tiger Woods.