1) Golf is hard…
Before we all pile on Tiger Woods (and there will be plenty of piling), let’s all admit that golf is hard. Tiger is not the only one who struggled on the week as a whole. Just take a look at who failed to even make the cut at the Memorial:
Jason Day, Rickie Fowler, Gary Woodland, and Charl Schwartzel.
Phil Mickelson shot a 78 on Saturday and hardly a word is shown. Golf Channel surely didn’t spend 20 minutes dissecting every shot of his.
There were 4 other pros that failed to break 80 on various days:
Steven Bowditch (80-Sunday), Brendan Steele (80-Sunday), Lucas Glover (82-Sunday), Andrew Putnam (82-Sunday), Sam Saunders (80-Friday).
Those guys get to post their 80 and sneak out the back door. They don’t have to talk to the media, they don’t have to deal with 20 minutes of Golf Channel coverage displaying every chunked wedge or hooked driver. Not trying to build sympathy for the guy, but lets all admit… Golf is hard.
2) Tiger Woods
I am starting to hate rooting for this guy. If you haven’t gotten it by now, I’m a Tiger diehard. I would have never picked up a stick if it weren’t for Tiger. Whether it be injuries, rust, or yet another swing change, he hasn’t played golf worth watching in a couple years and yet every time he tees it up I am glued to the coverage. This weekend was no different. I followed every agonizing stroke as he made the cut on the number. For the first two days his game looked bipolar. The guy clearly has no confidence off the tee. I wish I could hit his tee shots for him. When he did get it in play, he made plenty of birdies. We’ll ignore Saturday for now. In the other three rounds, Tiger made 5 birdies per round. That is enough to shoot some low scores. At times this weekend his putter looked like a magic wand again. He putted great Friday or he misses the cut.
Then there was the debacle on Saturday. I never thought I’d see the day where the greatest player my eyes have ever seen would struggle to an 85. What makes it more difficult is that it never looked like he quit on the round. Watching the ‘highlights’, the guy had one of those rounds where a lot of his non-tee shots weren’t off by much, but instead of kicking on the green, they were kicking in bunkers. I’ve had that round, I never expected to see Tiger have that round. Its frustrating. Miss a couple shorties and the round gets away from you. In a way that gives you comfort, even the best in the world can struggle to find it. On the other hand… Wow! Tiger never would have had this happen a few years ago.
Really the only positive is that he finished the round. There was no injury. No bones he had to pop back in place. No deactivated glutes. So as strange as it is to say, I’m just glad he finished the thing out. It has to be extremely humbling to be first off the tee on Sunday dressed in his red and black when you are used to having that late tee time. But he gutted it out and finished with a 74, knowing he would finish DAL… Dead Ass Last… for those unfamiliar. So there it is, I’m just glad he finished. That he appears healthy.
But before I can move on and wait for the next one… Remember, Chamber’s Bay is just around the corner and I picked him to win at St. Andrews. Boy does that look like a long shot…
What the hell is he doing? How is he improving? He must be seeing something in practice that is just not translating, but that swing off the tee box looks awful. The amount his head moves is disgusting. He appears to have the patience to ride this swing change out. He has been there before… But I’m starting to enter panic mode. He doesn’t have enough time. He needs to start playing good golf. I say this because I selfishly want him to break Nicklaus’ record (18 majors). Hell, at this point I just hope he breaks Snead’s record (82 PGA Tour wins). I want to be able to say without a doubt that I grew up watching the greatest player of all time dominate the sport. It’s a scary thought that someone as magical and artistic could just lose it. Become a mechanical robot. So obsessed with finding the perfect swing that he might have missed the fact that he already had it.
Man. I’m rooting for him. But it’s getting tough to watch. He is showing flashes of brilliance with easy birdies, but a whole lot of ‘where the hell is this going’ off the tee.
3) Jordan Spieth
The guy is sneaky good. He needs to eliminate the one shady round he has played in each of the last several weeks and he’d be winning every tournament. He continues to play fantastic rounds on Sunday and grab a piece of the clubhouse lead. I love this kid. I can’t wait until he figures out just how good he can be.