Tiger Woods – Here We Go Again

tiger pinkIt seems we’ll actually be seeing Tiger Woods’ return this month, if indications in the media stories bear out.

Meaning, we’ve been here before, to the point I have wondered the past day or so, what became of John Cook, Tiger’s usual cheerleader when it comes to reporting on TW’s game and ball-striking.

If you’ll remember, when Tiger was preparing to play in the 2015 Masters following his initial back surgery, I was less than kind about the farcical claims being made about the state of Tiger’s game…

Back then:

“And now, just to keep this ridiculous clown car running, we hear the breathless reports that Tiger shot a 66 on his own home course, and it’s “possibly better” than the 62 he shot there, which is the actual record.

“Yes, the 66 is better than his 62 because whatever… here’s the tale from (of course) GolfDigest online with (of course) Tiger’s new story-teller Tim “Rosie” Rosaforte whispering the miraculous Tiger recovery to blogger Alex Myers:

Golf Digest senior writer Tim Rosaforte reported last night that Tiger Woods recently shot a worst-ball 66 at his home course, Medalist Golf Club. That’s a worst-ball 66, which is not to be confused with a best-ball 66 or even a normal 66 for that matter.

Still not following? That means Woods played two balls on each hole, but only played the worst shot each time, including on the green (if both approach shots found the green, he’d putt from the farther spot). To make things even more challenging, Rosaforte said Woods had to validate any birdie putt by making a second putt from the same distance.

“Not only that, he had to do it with a lefty-handed putter while standing on one leg, facing away from the hole.”

So, yes, I was detecting a certain whiff of B.S., to be sure, and of course, the expected result (well, expected by some, including yours truly) came about when he finally teed it up for a practice round at Augusta following this glowing report.

If you want to know how it turned out, my posting title was “Worst-Ball 66 Becomes A 74 In The Real World…”

Playing with two members, Woods did make five birdies, but there had to be plenty of lowlights because the source said Woods shot 2-over 74 and that he did hit several indifferent chips, including one that went through the green and into a bunker.

And so it goes.

Now, we’re to be told by Jesper Parnevik (and I had no idea they were friends again, which goes to show you how much attention I pay to anyone’s personal life) that T-Dubs is “flushing it”  in practice and… well, you can read it for yourself over at Golf Digest courtesy of Sam Weinman:

“I see Tiger at the Medalist. We talk and have played nine holes together,” Parnevik tells Golf Digest senior writer Guy Yocom. “By the way, he’s been hitting a lot of balls, and he’s hitting it great. He’s pounding it a mile and flushing everything.

On the range, at least, his trajectory and ball flight are like the Tiger we knew 15 years ago. Comebacks are never a sure thing, but something tells me his might be spectacular.”

Alrighty then!

I only have one question for Jesper – if TW is hitting it so well that his traj and ball flight are like Tiger Woods when he was winning the Tiger-Slam and head and shoulders above anything we had seen before in a 12 month stretch, and have yet to see since…

Why are you saying his comebackmight be spectacular?”

I would think that if this statement about his ball-striking were even close to accurate, Tiger would be poised to roar back to the top of the world’s best players, hands-down.

See, I can give you the answer on that earlier question – when making wild claims that may affect your credibility when they turn out to be hogwash – better to leave some wiggle room so as not to look too silly.

Sorry, Jesper – I don’t buy it.

Remember this, friends?

That was so… awkward, and so uncomfortable to watch.  I wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemy.

I’d be willing to guess that Tiger’s return will be more like the last we saw of him, than anything close to what he was doing in 2001.

First of all, in 2001, he wasn’t swinging the way he did to break his back in ’14 and require two more surgeries last autumn.

I could be wrong.  Wouldn’t be the first time.

But I smell something, and we’ll see in a not-too-distant future.

P.S. – I will admit to being horribly wrong, if proven so.

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4 thoughts on “Tiger Woods – Here We Go Again

  1. targettom

    People have bought into the media hype that Tiger was the key reason behind the growth in golf after ’96. So they can’t let him go despite his behaviour on and off the course.

    If anyone actually did a study they might want to consider how demographics played a part in the golf industry up-phase.

    And also, business practice at the time encouraged golf outings; now it seems if you take a lunch break you’re considered soft.

    1. D Watts Post author

      In full agreement there, Tom.

      The fact that you can no longer write off golf as a business expenditure had to have hurt the number of rounds played, since a lot of business used to be carried on while out on the links.

      Another problem is that the modern swing philosophy has kept people from ever improving their swings, and there’s only so much the equipment can do for you.

      Add in the shrinking middle-class and that younger generations have better things to do than stare at the backs of the hackers on the hole in front of them for 5-6 hrs, and that watching golf is even more painful than playing… golf is quickly returning to a niche past-time, from which it may never return.

      Sadly, I can only say “and deservedly so,” seeing how the so-called “stewards of the game” have completely lost the plot over the past 20-30 years.

  2. Laser

    “a certain whiff of B.S.”

    –Well, if you want a bigger whiff, maybe go to a dentist’s office and maybe he’ll have a copy of the October 16 Golf Digest (don’t buy it), which has a feature on TW.

    The comment that I find most credible (gift subscription!): “A former WallStreeter who played golf and still carries a low single-digit handicap says he saw Woods earlier this summer and adds, ‘It was so bad it almost looked like he can’t play golf anymore.'”

    1. D Watts Post author

      Good find, Laser – let’s just say that I’m fairly confident in my opinion of TW’s likely future performance – middling to bad to worse, and nothing ever again approaching his past form.

      And that Wallstreeter’s comment just happens to jibe with what we have seen of TW since his surgeries – that video clip above is not “almost can’t play anymore,” it’s “if you can’t hit a green once of three times with a wedge in your hand,” it’s fairly clear you’re nowhere close to playing decent golf, let alone approaching the form of your best and the most dominating year ever seen…

      Every 20 handicap knows as much…

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