Damnation It! In the past, I wrote about Tiger Woods’s image post-Thanksgiving 2009, and the media’s attempt to salvage it. At one point, I mentioned a horror novel I had read in the past where a character’s flesh is rotting off his frame, so he heavily douses himself with cologne to hide the stench. My analogy equated Woods’s image to the character with the rotting flesh, and the golf media’s pro-Woods propaganda to the cologne.
Frustratingly, I could never recall the book. Well, well, well, I found it. It’s The Damnation Game by Clive Barker. Now I can mark that off my list.
OWGR Website I pulled up the rankings to see how Tanihara fared with his 4th-place at the Match Play (57th to 48th). While there, I revisited the full list of events last year and noticed they now have them all on one page — to correct the error I discovered when I complained about the Masters “missing” when I sorted by Strength of Field. When Lanny talks, people listen. Well, some of the time. The annoying, superfluous, useless, purposeless scroll remains at the top of every blanking page. I’ll give a five-year subscription to Lanny H Golf to anyone who can tell me one reason why that scroll is a good idea. It’s the most idiotic thing I’ve ever encountered in the world. (1) It doesn’t change! (2) I’m already looking at the full list on the page! (3) It causes distraction and eyestrain.
Fried Chicken and Collard Greens Tiger Woods will be at the Masters Champions Dinner this year. No word on whether Woods will be in the Masters field seeking a tenth green jacket or whatever. Fuzzy Zoeller’s plans are not yet known.
Whiplash Boy, did I ever suffer a case of whiplash this morning. I spotted an article entitled, “Fitness in Golf – a paradigm shift.” I expected to see an article about how Tiger Woods prematurely ended his career by extreme workouts and steroids, and that was causing the golf world to have second thoughts about “the gym.” Something along those lines.
But, alas, no. It was a paean to “modern” training methods. That was bad enough, but then I spotted this:
In an era where pot-bellied, un-fit golfers ruled the world-ranking charts, Tiger challenged that norm, and instilled the importance of being physically fit in a sport that is as demanding as any other. He was not just considered a golfer, but was one of the first few from the sport to be considered an all-round athlete.
First off, the word “considered” might make the last sentence true, but it certain was not true that Woods was golf’s first all-round athlete. (Or that he even was an all-round athlete, for that matter. Frankly, the ubiquitous attempt by the media to label Woods as “an athlete” strikes me as the sort of racist nonsense we used to hear, for example, about black NFL quaterbacks. But we’ll leave that for another day.) Jack Nicklaus played many sports growing up and had interest in continuing to play them in college. Woody Hayes told Nicklaus’s dad not to let him! Then, my favorite example: Hale Irwin, who won two U.S. Opens, played college football and was all-conference in the Big Eight two years running.
But let’s focus on the other contention, that athletes way back in the olden days of 1996 and before were pot-bellied and unfit. A random OWGR week shows the following players at the top: Greg Norman, Colin Montgomerie, Nick Price, Ernie Els, Nick Faldo, Corey Pavin, Bernhard Langer, Fred Couples, Masashi “Jumbo” Ozaki, Steve Elkington, Tom Lehman, Phil Mickelson, Vijay Singh. Was Colin Montgomerie more of a “pot belly” than today’s Patrick Reed. Jumbo Ozaki, despite his nickname, certainly was no Andrew “Beef” Johnston. Most of those flat-bellies of 1996 are playing on the Senior Tour — and still have flat bellies.
How aggravating — and easy to catch — is historical revisionism when the history was a mere twenty years ago?
Calling jalnichols I’d love to see jalnichols (he’s more active on Twitter than on his website) do analysis of two things. (1) What are the numbers for a player making the weekend who loses in the first round of the new Match Play format? And, if that happens, what are the numbers for it happening via a three-man playoff? (2) What are the numbers for player injuries today measured against past periods? Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, and Dustin Johnson all have missed extended periods of time for injury (albeit DJ’s was not so much an injury as an “injury”). Was Arnie, Jack, Gary Player, or Tom Watson ever out for injury? I remember Lee Trevino had a balky back — after he got hit by lightning!