3:45 pm I just got a heads-up on a Must Read article by Shane Ryan (author of the recently-published Slaying the Tiger) at Golf Digest’s website. What’s the topic? Well, check out the title: “Tiger Woods is totally, completely, unequivocally, and utterly done.”
I personally think Woods is not quite done, but he is done in the sense of being even remotely what the media claims he still is. My thinking: Give him another year, and if his back heals completely, he could be a factor in some tournaments. But Shane’s less wishy-washy take makes for far better reading, and he produced an article that builds with each paragraph. Here are my two favorite bits, but there are many to chose from:
If Tiger Woods finishes 30th at a future event, and leads the field in some esoteric category, it will not mean he’s back. If he tells us that some minute swing adjustment has him on the verge of greatness, it will not mean he’s back. If he’s about to play on some course where he’s won before, against players with less experience, it does not mean he’s going to win.
Shane really nailed it with that. He debunked the golf media’s playbook, point by point.
I would like to point out that there are many golfers who are not done. Jordan Spieth, age 21 and winner of back-to-back majors, is not done. Rickie Fowler is not done. Rory McIlroy is injured, but almost certainly not done. I just watched Hideki Matsuyama make seven birdies in ten holes. Based on that evidence, I’m ready to state that he, too, is not done.
I laughed out loud at that one. Excellent timing, phrasing. Anyway, you might find other parts funnier, more biting. It’s good stuff through and through, and it’s nice to see someone finally pushing the mainstream golf media to accept reality.
Now, I’m going to go read the comments. This should be fun…
2:30 pm Okay, Tirico, tell me one of those shots Woods hit that “we’d never seen before.” Just one will suffice.
Judy made a stinging remark, I think. She said, after someone said Woods was running on empty, or somesuch, “Yes, and I don’t think there is anything wrong with saying that.” Made me wonder if they tell them in production meetings, “Whatever you do, pretend Tiger is still a good, relevant player.” Was Dottie rebelling?
1:40 pm The phones are ringing off the hooks in the Lanny H Golf Control Center. Our ears are burning with rumor reports from St. Andrews. Trusted insiders tell us Tiger Woods is going to do an impromptu farewell ceremony on the Swilcan Bridge! Grab your handkerchief!
11:45 am A substory when play resumes: Will David Duval make the cut while Tiger Woods misses it? Duval was in one of the groups that log-jammed at the No. 11 tee box, so didn’t lose any strokes during this morning’s short-lived resumption. He needs to make it home in par, as things stand now.
Shackelford had a link to this ESPN story about Phil Mickelson, which is pretty darn good. The idea of the invisible line seemed accurate and a good way to describe an aging golfer.
10:30 am Jordan Not Happy (from the Telegraph)
10:20 am Cancel This Sham of a Tourney; Tom Watson and the Bridge
I’m sorry. I cannot recognize this sham of a tournament as a major. I nominate the best tournament of the Florida swing as a replacement: the Valspar.
The stands are packed with people who have nothing to entertain them. Tom Watson could have done his bridge walk today. In fact, he could have filmed a four-hour epic movie about it. Bridge Over River Swilcan, maybe. A Burn Runs Through It?
Tirico Tidbit: Did you hear the stat from Tirico about Jordan Spieth and three-putts? He had 15 three-putts in over 1000 holes played, prior to this week. He’s already had four at St. Andrews (and that might have just been during round two). What a sham.
8:30 am TAKE ST. ANDREWS OUT OF THE ROTA — NOW!!!
I’m sick of all the “tradition.” The only tradition in golf is the tradition of the equipment manufacturers calling the shots in order to make a buck. Today’s balls and clubs. and the player-specific tweaking for launch angle and spin, have made courses too short and easy, causing the greens to be made too fast, placing too much of a premium on putting, and, oh, by the way, resulting in balls moving on the green during high winds during a freaking major.
This is the second wind delay in two British Opens at St. Andrews. This is not an anomaly; this is St. Andrews with greens mowed too short for the weather. Since we all know the R&A and USGA will not rein in the equipment manufacturers — padding their pockets being the only objective of all involved — the British Open must be moved from St. Andrews, and, perhaps, out of Scotland entirely. There are some fantastic sites in continental Europe, and I would absolutely love to see a British Open in Dubai. The Dubai Desert Classic has a history of stable weather and great champions.
If that alternative is unpalatable, try this one: Revoke the status of the British Open as a major. This requires no action whatsoever! Golf writers and fans simply decide to have another tournament be considered the fourth major. My vote is for Quail Hollow. There is precedence for this: The U.S. and British Amateurs are no longer considered majors.
There are only three alternatives:
- Roll back the equipment so that courses can be played as originally designed.
- Move the British Open rota to continental Europe (and Dubai and Australia).
- Replace the British Open with Quail Hollow (or Colonial, or the L.A. Open) becoming the fourth major.
7:30 am What a mess…