SI’s Gary Van Sickle has an article on the ten things he learned at Hoylake. First among them is that Tiger Woods is “way, way better than anyone else.”
If you’re talking about physical skills, I disagree. He does not hit golf balls that much better than Ernie, Phil, Vijay and others. The difference is in Tiger’s mental toughness.
And Chris DiMarco is my proof. As much as I like him, Chris DiMarco does not come to mind when I list the most talented ball strikers out there. I think Ernie, Vijay, Mickelson, Jim Furyk. But not Chris DiMarco.
And yet, in two majors, with Tiger playing well, Chris was the only one to challenge him.
At Hoylake, playing in the first major since the death of his mother, Chris ground it out, getting himself into contention and putting pressure on the striped one until the very end.
Not to sound cruel, but in the first major following the death of his father, Tiger missed the cut.
Van Sickle is more on point with his other observations: that DiMarco deserves a spot on the Ryder Cup team—even if necessary as a captain’s pick; that Sergio has serious putter issues (although I think that’s another mental toughness thing. He got tentative and started leaving them short); that Hoylake held up as a major venue; and that Phil’s Master Plan wasn’t all that bad.