Tiger Woods: 'Golf is a lonely sport'

    (CNN)Tiger Woods might have hit a new low, but that doesn't mean people have stopped caring.

    At last week's Memorial Tournament in Ohio, the 39-year-old carded the worst round of his professional career, while also recording his highest ever aggregate total.
    But such is Woods' standing in the game -- he has 14 majors to his names, second only to Jack Nicklaus' tally of 18 -- that his travails continue to be one of the sport's most intriguing stories.
      "Do we turn away? Do we shrug our shoulders and move on? Or do we keep watching? Of course we do," Golf Digest's Dave Shedloski wrote. "Greatness radiates a magnetism that outlives the source.
      "Indeed, we keep watching Tiger Woods because we had never seen anything like him, and he might do something amazing again. When do we stop caring? When do we stop watching? Not yet. Not ever."
      This year is rapidly turning into something of a annus horribilis for Woods.
      After carding a round of 82 -- his worst ever round -- at the Phoenix Open in January, Woods plunged new depths with a 13-over-par 85 Saturday, which included six bogeys, two double bogeys and culminated in a quadruple bogey eight on the 18th hole.
      Woods made the cut by a single shot and improved Sunday with a 74, but his four-round total of 302 left room for further embarrassment.
      Woods put on a brave face after his latest meltdown.
      "When you're on, no one is going to slow you down. When you're off, no one is going to pick you up, either. It's one of those sports that's tough. Deal with it," Woods said on the PGA's official website. "This is a lonely sport."
      So lonely that, on Sunday, Woods was forced to play his fourth round alone after being bottom in an odd field of 71 players.
      Even so, spectators still flocked to the 18th green at Muirfield Village Golf Club to cheer off a man doomed to finish the tournament in last place.
      Fitness issues have contributed to Woods' precipitous slide down the rankings -- he's now 181st in the world.
      A joint-17th finish at the Masters has been his only real positive to take from a frustrating 2015.
      Coming up next for the American is this month's U.S. Open, where few if any are now predicting his first major since 2008.
      "You can make a case that Tiger has never been farther from major championship-ready than he is right now," Jeff Ritter, senior editor of SI Golf Group, wrote. "Next up, a major championship. Expectations should not be high."
      The common consensus among experts may be that the days when Woods took the golfing world by storm are long gone but people continue to to wonder if there's one moment of brilliance left up his sleeve.
      "Will we ever not care about Tiger, even if he is at his worst, seemingly lost and so far removed from his glory days?" ESPN senior golf writer Bob Harig said.
        "The answer is no, even amid the primal screams of outrage from those who wonder why we continue to chronicle the exploits of Woods, who is getting dangerously close to falling out of the top 200 in the world and seems miles away from regaining his form.
        "Why? Because he's Tiger Woods."