This whole media-created meme that “Woods is the biggest story” has become embarrassing. It’s easy to see how it works. They ignore all the top contenders, then say they are “flying under the radar,” ignoring the fact they the media IS the radar. Then they go about making Woods the story. So they ask every player two, three, five, ten questions about Woods. Then they take cherry-picked answers, which are usually kid-glove answers with one purpose — not to offend, and use them for their news shows/articles. I just heard them say, “Rory said, “Don’t count Tiger out.” Well, I saw Rory’s presser, and they asked him six questions about Woods. They asked Rory how he thought Woods would do, and you could tell Rory wanted to say, “How the hell would I know? I don’t give a rat’s ass.” But instead he paused and stuttered and stammered and said, “Well, people will be curious, and don’t count him out,” and other non-comment comments. Then the golf media takes it and presents it as if Rory is touting Tiger as one of the players with a real chance. And thus continues the cycle of “Tiger is the biggest story.”
They could as easily ask Woods, “Do you think Rory is the favorite?” “Do you think Bubba can win three of four?” Then take his answers and trumpet them as, “Woods predicts Rory to win!” Or, “Woods says Bubba has great chance to win ANOTHER Masters.” Make no mistake about it, the golf media is shaping the “news” and very much the cause of the Tiger Only coverage.
Oh, someone did ask Woods a question of interest. About his weight. Woods said he weighed about 163 lbs. when he won in 1997, and now weighs mid-180’s. So how much, I wonder, did he weigh at his max? There was no followup question about WHY he was so much lighter (based on appearances).
4:55 pm Update: Spieth played with three rookies today, Brooks Koepka and Morgan Hoffman being two of them. Spieth is very well-spoken. One advantage young guys like him have is that they’ve only heard the same questions dozens of times rather than thousands. (By the way, how did that reporter who asked about Rory and career goals/targets get Masters press credentials? Every golf reporter with any knowledge at all should know that well-known factoid about Rory.) Kind words from Spieth about Ben Crenshaw.
Spieth is asked how he’d like to go against Tiger, who (according to the reporter) said he is going to contend this week. Jordan said he’d love it. You think? Jordan is like 6-0-1 versus Woods.
4:30 pm Update: Spieth up next, following Fowler, whose presser was pretty uneventful.
Bookmakers are starting to release head-to-head matchups. Here are a few from OddsChecker’s roundup:
- Patrick Reed is 5-2 over Woods.
- Lee Westwood is 2-1 over Woods.
- Sneds is nearly 2-1 over Woods.
Bovada has Rory as a slight favorite over both Bubba and Spieth, and Spieth a slight favorite over Bubba. Mickelson is a slight favorite over Jimmy Walker. I would expect to see some Woods vs Walker matchups before long.
3:30 pm Update: Phil Mickelson with a rather subdued press conference. Might be aching from his poor weekend at Houston.
2:55 pm Update: The golf reporters managed to set a new low. After a good open, they went into Tiger Woods Only mode. I set the over/under at 6.5. There were six questions.
- The Rory-Tiger advert
- What do you think about Woods being in a happy place? (or something)
- Something about Woods’s focus?
- Do you have a target like Woods targeting Jack? (Rory has answered this about a thousand times. No. He just cares about the next one.)
- Does Woods’s presence take focus off of you and help you?
- Is Tiger underestimated at this tournament?
What assholes are these golf reporters. Total wastes of sperm and eggs.
Anyway, Rory did get to tell the world he agreed with my point about Bubba being the favorite. That seems pretty obvious to me, but when Rory supports your point of view, everyone else can just shut the hell up! Haha, I’m sure Rory hopes he wins almost as much as I do, though. And intends to do so.
2:15 pm Update: Still no Rory, so I’ll comment on Rory’s group. I think it’s a good one for him. Mickelson and Ryan Moore are pretty easy-going guys. Woods has Jamie Donaldson and Jimmy Walker. I don’t think that is good for him, as Walker will be looking to dominate Woods, to drive him into the dirt. He’s a nice guy, but he’s winning like mad and the media still ignores him to obsess over Woods. I expect Walker to give Woods a good old-fashioned Jordan Spieth beatdown. (Spieth is something like 7-0-1 vs Woods when playing together.)
2:10 pm Update: Still waiting for Rory. Jimmy Walker just said, when informed he was playing with Woods, “He’s arguably one of the best players of all time.” Arguably. One of the best. Arguably.
2:00 pm Update: Rory up next. As they break from Woods post-presser discussion, Golf Channel shows still images of Woods and play funereal music. I’m setting the over/under for reporters asking a question with “Tiger Woods” in it at 6-1/2.
1:55 pm Update Another kids question that allows Woods to talk about them picking flowers… Sheesh. No question about how, if his game is so good, how was it that he didn’t know he was playing until so late? Was he intentionally delaying his decision, or was it touch-and-g0?
This golf media walks on eggshells around Woods the way a battered wife walks on eggshells around her alcoholic husband. He says nothing, and they all giggle like mad. There was nothing in that press conference worth writing or talking about. But the American golf media will.
1:45 pm Update: Typical Tiger Woods BS
What did he did to get prepared? “Worked my ass off.” Sure, you worked hard; everyone works hard. But what did you DO?
Karen Crouse asks how he “feels about us” or something? “You seem looser,” she says. “I have no idea, Karen.” Good answer.
He gets asked a Rory question, but then the reporter adds Rory is “flying under the radar.” Woods has been able to talk about his kids about ten times so far.
These reporters are nervously laughing at everything. They are so uptight. “Pussies” would be the word. They are scared of their own shadow. No questions about the possible suspension, nor about Blood Sport, nor about the Nobilo comments about the Rock Ishii balls of 2000, the reversals of “my back feels fine.” Woods earlier did allow that his back sometimes still bothers him.
12:45 pm Update: Stenson Zinger!
Q: Are you curious about how Tiger Woods will play?
A: I’m sure I’ll hear about it.
Apparently there are very few sportswriters in the room for Stenson’s presser. Gee, maybe that’s why he’s “flying under the radar.”
12:30 Update Pairings are out. Woods playing late-early, ensuring, if he plays himself out of it on day one, he’ll at least be “in the hunt” for his opening televised holes on Thursday. (Giving the All Tiger All The Time GC a minimal excuse for their obsession, If he were ten off the pace on Friday, they would have been hard-pressed to justify showing him.)
12:00 pm Is Woods being forced to play by his sponsors? Think about some of the evidence:
- The silliness with the headphones yesterday, including, according to reports, a dance. A dance? Not like that would bring attention to the music, then to the headphones. A dance, though. Man. Think about the final scene of Requiem for a Heavyweight, with “Big Chief” Mountain Rivera woo-woo-woo’ing around the ring. Very degrading.
- His kids and Lindsey Vonn by his side today, hugs-a-plenty. Pushing an image much? Trying to create a new softer image that has a chance of holding up in retirement? (Good luck with that…)
- Playing the par-3 contest. With bettors saying the cut is a 50-50 proposition, the par-3 assures at least three days of cameras and media obsession.
- Also, the cheerleaders keep drumming on “low expectations.” Generally they unanimously pick Woods to win, or at least pepper their comments with “you can never rule him out,” no matter what.