What did Tiger learn from his near miss at the PGA Championship?
Don’t play three weeks in a row. Robert Lusetich at Fox Sports quotes the Striped One:
“That’s the thing, (playing) three weeks is fine, but being in contention just about every day, it puts a toll on you,” Woods said Wednesday.
“It was a long three weeks.”
Perhaps not as long as the days since having his unblemished record — he had been 14-for-14 in converting third-round leads at majors — snapped.
“That night was tough, no doubt,” said Woods in something of an understatement.
“I went home and took a few days off, away from golf. I was a little tired of it.”
I think the lesson Tiger should have learned is that he needs to work more on his putting. It’s not the knees and the swing; it’s the flat stick.
And while I’m at it, let me say that I’m tired of hearing about how hard it is to play professional golf. My irritation began when the fawning media began writing about how Tiger just wasn’t the same when coming back after a month off following the death of his father. I know exactly how the death of a father who also was a best friend can hurt. Lots of people do. But we don’t get to take a month off, and we still are expected to produce results. Under my contract, I got two days off. And when I returned, you can bet the teens in my classes weren’t cutting me any slack out of sympanthy. (To his credit, Tiger never made excuses. My irritation began with the media, not with him)
Now, however, the word is that it’s hard to work for three straight weeks. Or being at the top of your game for three straight weeks. Everyone that I know works for weeks and weeks on end. They work under plenty of pressure (Cops, just to take one example, have the life-and-death kind; executives have the livelihoods of thousands in their hands; and everyone faces the pressure of keeping the boss happy and the paychecks coming). And they are expected to be just as good in week twenty as they were in week one.
Or lets just compare sports. How about baseball players in a pennant race? Can you imagine A-Rod going to the skipper and saying: “Skip. I just can’t play three weeks in a row. I need to take a week or two off in August.” Can you imagine Kobe, or Nicklas Lindstom sitting down for a week or two in the playoffs?
No. Those excuses only seem to work with professional golf.
Sheesh. No wonder people argue about whether golfers really are athletes.