8:20 pm Update Rory to play PGA Championship?
Thanks to a reader for the heads-up. Reuters reporting Rory to play a practice round Saturday at Whistling Straits.
I almost wish he wouldn’t. I’d be happy to see him wait until next January. But… he was probably going to have pressure on him to play the FedEx playoffs.
Tiger’s Excellent BBQ Adventure: The golf media seems to have launched a new wave of Tiger Image Rehabilitation. The secretiveness concerning the Mystery BBQ was weird. They couldn’t mention who hosted it, but they wanted to mention on national television that Woods was there.
Did Woods tell them and not want to tick off the host? Did the host tell them and not want to tick off Woods? Did another person tell them and not want to tick anyone off? Who knows, but one thing has occurred to me: Woods has not exactly been able to draw strong fields to his event, so if one of the top players in the event invited him to a cookout, he probably felt it wise to attend.
The Excellent BBQ Adventure does not stand in isolation. There has been a noticeable push to soften Woods’s image. There has been for some time, particularly with The Kids The Kids The Kids. Lindsey, The Kids. Can’t practice as much, The Kids. Play soccer with, The Kids.
I guess Nike wants to wring every penny of marketing they can out of Woods, and with the end of his career appearing nearer and nearer, they need to morph him into Good Ole Tiger. The Friendly Golfer.
Here’s a problem, and it’s one I don’t think they can every really solve: When Woods regained the OWGR #1 ranking in 2013, Nike put out an ad campaign, “Winning Takes Care of Everything.” In other words: I’m such a badass, I can do anything I want in “real life,” and still the public will bow at my feet. Now, they want to start a campaign implying what? “Losing Takes Care of Everything”? “Being Mr. Friendly Takes Care of Everything”?
However, I think the public is well past the tipping point when it comes to Tiger Woods. It’s become more fun — and there is less cognitive dissonance — to mock and laugh at Woods rather than to cling to the myth of the Never Before Seen Invincible Golfing Machine. The public was told it was okay for Woods to be rude and immature because he was so damned great. With a capital G, Great. Very special guy. Bow before him. Now they want to switch that to Just A Regular Guy One Of The Gang At The BBQ.
Nike would like to have Woods continue as a marketing aid for years and years. You often hear the name of Michael Jordan. But Jordan sells shoes, underwear, and hamburgers. Golfers tend to represent companies like Accenture, and KPMG. Banks, insurance companies. Serious, you-can-trust-us companies that have already shown they have no interest whatsoever in Woods. Accenture would as soon be affiliated with Bernie Madoff as Tiger Woods.
Morning Drive: I’ve had Morning Drive on in the background, only half paying attention. Williams interviewed Shackelford and asked, closely paraphrasing, “What characteristic does Jordan Spieth have that might make you think he could remotely get close to what Tiger did?” Okay, Woods was supposed to catch Nicklaus, failed. Spieth is ahead of Woods’s pace. WHY do they continue to cling to the Woods 2001 narrative.
Earlier, Rymer used the victory of Troy Merritt to pump up Woods. Rymer insisted that Merritt kept saying he was close — just like Tiger is saying! — then it suddenly all clicked. Quite obviously, Rymer was pushing the idea that Woods could “click” just like Merritt and win.
WGC Rory: Thanks to Jordan Spieth, I still have a very high interest level concerning these next two weeks, but I definitely feel Rory’s absence.
OWGR: Tiger Woods earned 2.55 OWGR points yesterday and climbed from #266 to #262. I expected him to climb more than that. Ollie Schniederjans collected 3.07 and climbed from #410 to #358. Merritt got 34 points and moved from #180 to #99.
To Slam or Not to Slam, Ladies? There’s a lot of discussion right now about whether it is a Grand Slam if an LPGA player wins the original four of the five majors? It sure is. It works like this. If you win four, it’s a Grand Slam. If you win five, it’s a Complete Grand Slam. So if a woman wins all five some year, it would be winning a Career Complete Grand Slam All In One Year.