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February 22 2012

1:00 AM

Faldo, Miller: Doubt creeps in for Tiger

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Tiger Woods is coming off a final-round 75 at Pebble Beach.

The longer Tiger Woods goes without winning a PGA TOUR event -- something he hasn’t done since 2009 -- the more self-doubt might creep into his game, at least according to Nick Faldo.

“His incredible record in the past, leading after 54 holes and converting was ridiculous,” Faldo said via conference call Tuesday. “But now we have seen about four times when he's been right there, good enough to get into contention but not good enough to finish it off. I think that's when you discover all of those little things that you can't really put your finger on, what it takes to finish it off.

“The bottom line is trust, or self‑belief, self‑confidence in your ability. We have seen a few swings and a few putts that ‑‑ we watch Tiger scratch his head.”

Johnny Miller doesn’t think Woods needs to learn how to win again, but the longer he goes without winning, Miller says, the tougher it will get.

“Even starting with the Masters last year, that great charge on Sunday, it looked like he was going to do it and just sort of fizzed out,” Miller said. “The more of those that he has, the more scar tissue you get, and the tougher it is to make those putts.

”He did win at Sherwood, but I don't know if that totally convinced him that that was a real win. He needs to do it on TOUR with a PGA TOUR win.”

Woods will have his chance this week at a tournament he’s won three times before.

Brandel Chamblee, however, sees a different Woods at age 36.

“People are not intimidated by Tiger Woods anymore,” Chamblee said. “He doesn't hit it as far, he doesn't hit it as high and he doesn't hit it as straight and he's missing a lot of little putts, and late in a golf tournament, which makes him beatable and makes him human and makes him less intimidating.

“When you put all of that together, that is an intangible that Tiger Woods carried like the best shield and the fastest arrow. He beat everybody, because of all of those reasons. But one of them was that he intimidated the devil out of people, and so they are giving him their best shot.”

Woods will have a chance to turn that around beginning Wednesday when he faces Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano in the opening round.

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