Reflecting Upon Tiger’s Win At The Chevron

imageAfter Tiger’s win at the Chevron World Challenge yesterday, a Golf Channel analyst gushed “The Big Cat Is Back!”

Really? I suppose it is a step in the right direction. But a win in the 18-player Chevron (even considering the World Ranking points it bestows) doesn’t prove anything. It was a win, and a year from now, we might look back and say this was the first step to another vintage Tiger season. Or, we might look back and say that this was his last hurrah.

Needing the ratings and readers, the media is sure to play this one for all it is worth. Don’t be fooled. Any declaration of a “return” is just media hype and the fawning of sycophants.

I actually think Tiger would agree with me on this one. It’s a step, but no proof. He, as much as anyone, knows how hard it is to win a regular season event, much less a Major.

Tiger at the Chevron on winning tournaments: They’re not easy. People don’t realize how hard it is to win golf tournaments. I’ve gone on streaks where I’ve won golf tournaments in a row, but still … I don’t think I’ve taken it for granted. And I know because of how hard it is.

Winning Majors—not just mere tournaments—is the standard that Tiger has set for himself. That’s an extraordinarily difficult task. But anything less makes him not the Tiger of old.

For a period of time, Tiger was as good as anyone who ever played the game. For a period of time, Terry Bradshaw was as good as anyone who ever played football. But time marches on, and new heroes supplant the old. Considering the possibility that Tiger’s time has passed is just realistic.

As I said in previous post, I’ll believe Tiger is “back” when he proves that he’s currently as good as Keegan Bradley: two wins and a Major in a single season.

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2 thoughts on “Reflecting Upon Tiger’s Win At The Chevron”

  1. Well, I am fairly convinced that he may be “returning” – it is not done yet, but it is progressing.  I am not sure what will derail it other than an injury at this point.  And then the question of when he has returned where will he be?  #1?  Winning majors? 

    I have thought that for over a year, this was more of a mental block than anything.  Tiger’s camp and Tiger declared confidence in his swing and his game too many times in the past 12 months to really know when he “got” the swing back, but just couldn’t take the pressure of the tournament.  And there are two mental blocks at play – the winning block, and the major winning block.  Again, his failure to win a major in 2009 when he was within a slam of reaching Jack’s record in a year when he was otherwise playing flawlessly I think is a different wall he has set up in his mind. 

    That’s not to say his physical health and age are to be ignored, that knee could go again at any moment too.

    But this was an important step, one that came after the match play win in the Presidents cup, which too was important.  His decent rounds (Thursday & Sunday) were good rounds – his Friday round was similar to the other great single rounds that he has been having each tournament, but it is the fact that his blowup round on Saturday wasn’t as much of a blowup as they have been.  And you can see why – his scrambling is coming back, and he is putting without fear again. 

    The one thing that is a big question mark in my mind is that Tiger used iron off the tee a lot yesterday – and used the stinger effectively – but there were times where he was in trouble off the tee hitting an iron.  It is going to be interesting to see what happens when he plays a longer course and is forced to use 3 wood or driver off every tee. 

    Lastly, it was ironic wasn’t it that Tiger managed two putts for birdies to win this, one from a significant distance, and the other one was far from a gimmie – he won this one in the same way that Graeme beat him last year.  (excepting that this wasn’t a playoff).  Going into 17 one down and winning on 18 does say a bunch too.

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  2. Tiger is certainly playing much better there’s no question about that. I’m still not convinced he is back just yet though.

    I would love to see him put 4 good rounds together instead of just 3.

    But a win is a win and it’s great to see him there.

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