Rookie: Tiger Mailed It In

Once upon a time, Tiger Woods was a terror, and players dared not comment on his game for fear of suffering his wrath at a later date. What happened to Stephen Ames before the WGC Match Play was instructive: Commenting on Tiger’s inconsistency off the tee, Ames said: “Anything can happen, especially where he’s hitting the ball.” Tiger took offense and went on to give Ames a record breaking drubbing, winning 9 and 8—the worst possible outcome. Few were willing to challenge the big cat after that.

That was then. Now, it seems the Tiger now is seen as a pussycat.

Brendan Steele, the rookie who played with Tiger in the final round of this past weekend’s Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines said to Sports Illustrated:

“I don’t think he gave it ­everything today. Once it started going in the wrong direction, I don’t think it had his full attention.”

So Tiger mailed it in? Not surprising. His play has been unfocused, and lackluster lately. But for a fellow player—and especially a rookie—to say so: unbelievable.

In the old days, you might have expected a full apology soon. Or even one of those “I was misquoted,” or “I was taken out of context” lines. Now, I’m not so sure. Tiger isn’t feared any more; he’s more an object of pity or ridicule. And that’s going to make it even harder for him to overtake Nicklaus.


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3 thoughts on “Rookie: Tiger Mailed It In”

  1. I commented on this elsewhere too—This was dumb, dumb, dumb.  Someone needs to kick him and tell him to take this back (if he can find a microphone). 

    Who is this rookie to comment on Tiger Woods, but more than that, who is this rookie to comment on any veteran player outside of saying they were happy to play with so and so. 

    It is not the confrontation with Tiger that might occur here, or the one with Steve which might be worse.  It isn’t even that it is likely he will be paired with someone who is friends with Tiger—it is that he commented on any veteran this way.  Who wants to play with this jackball when he is going to go to some reporter and say whether you were making an effort or not, or whether you were a jerk or nice, or whatever.  I would bet it is going to be uncomfortable for him for some time.  Hope he enjoyed making this cut, because things will be tense for a while, might be hard to make another.

  2. By the way, here is a great opinion piece on Tiger:

    I have said on here a number of times by looking at trends, that Tiger & Jack had similar trendlines on Major wins (but not on seconds, because Jack is way ahead) – even to the point of from the age they won the first major, they would streak, have a break, streak, have a break and streak again.  Tiger was skewed a couple years younger, and went pro a couple years earlier as well.  If Tiger wins this year, he will have had a 2 year break between 14 and 15, which so did Jack.  I also theorize while Tiger is younger than Jack, that he has prematurely aged his body from the tuning he has done and the injuries he has had.  Tiger had performance related injuries at a younger age than most golfers have who are quite a bit older. 

    This writer compares YE Yang to Buster Douglas.  That when Yang beat Tiger that is where the unbeatable became beatable.  The impact that it had on Tiger and those facing him completely changed everything that day.  We went into the day with the whole “Tiger never loses if he has the lead after 54 holes” and then he did.  An unknown looked Tiger in the eye and said “boo” and beat him.  YE Yang, like Douglas, hasn’t done much since then, but he did so much that day, he changed everything.  Oddly, Tiger, like Tyson before him, didn’t just get knocked down that day in his sport, but since then his personal world unravelled too in a somewhat spectacular way (thankfully less violently). 

    Lastly, another interesting observation- Tiger, at 35 and this point forward, has to beat Phil’s entire career in majors to this point.  But Tiger is 13 years older than Phil when Phil started that career.

  3. “Now, I’m not so sure. Tiger isn’t feared any more; he’s more an object of pity or ridicule.”

    Possibly. I think it has more to do with not having the PR staff (read handlers and ‘muscle’)he used to have.


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