- Associated Press - Saturday, March 26, 2011

The interview room was packed, with green-jacketed Augusta National members lining the back wall to make sure journalists didn’t get too unruly. Tiger Woods was on his way in, finally ready to answer some of the questions about the mystery that surrounded his life.

None of us in the room that day last April expected to learn much, and Woods was true to form. He talked vaguely about becoming a better man, danced around questions about his personal life and offered little about the state of his game.

Even the bizarre commercial Nike ran a few days later with his late father presumably speaking to him from above drew just a soulful gaze from an otherwise silent Woods.

“I want to find out what your thinking was. I want to find out what your feelings are. And did you learn anything?” Dad asked.

A year later we’re still trying to figure that out. Woods remains as much of an enigma today as he was in the room that day at Augusta National, preparing for his return to golf while still grappling with the issues that would eventually make him a divorced man.

There are reports he has a new girlfriend, which stirred up some excitement recently among the tabloids. But as another Masters looms the talk about his personal life has largely faded.

Now we just want to know about his game.

It was on display Saturday in Florida, where Woods entered the third round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational with thoughts of contending after a posting a nifty 68 the day before on a tough golf course.

“We’re trying to build toward the first major, and that’s kind of how my game is,” he said after the round. “It’s building, and it’s coming.”

Hopeful words, though nothing we haven’t heard before. Woods has been talking about his game coming around for months now, even as his winless streak stretches into a second year.

Then he plays like he did on Saturday, and you wonder if he’ll ever win another green jacket again.

Two balls in the water on the back nine. Chunked chips from perfect lies. Misses on short putts, the kind he never missed before.

It all added up to a fat 74 that once again left Woods no chance of winning in his final tuneup before the Masters. On a course he once dominated, Woods struggled to hold his place as Bubba Watson and some of the game’s rising stars took dead aim at the flags.

The Masters is less than two weeks away. And Woods still looks lost.

Just what is wrong with his game has been debated in press rooms and bars from the coast of California to the swamps of Florida. Trying to figure it out is about as easy as trying to figure Woods out, and that’s a task a lot of amateur psychologists have failed at.

Story Continues →