Silly Season Indeed
Tiger’s pre-Christmas exhibition gives us one last glimpse of our favorite world class players before they all take long holiday breaks. Channel surfing in between football games you might have even caught some of the action on NBC this weekend. Hopefully you did, the extra click of the remote was worth it.
If ever there was a golf tournament that defines the term ‘Silly Season’ the best, this was it (the trophy alone screams that at you). Playing for gobs of money that doesn’t count for anything, Tiger lead Zach by 4 shots with 8 holes to play. Three of these holes were par 5s that TW should have feasted on. This should have been over, but gritty little Zachie-poo doesn’t work that way. He let Tiger make mistakes, he capitalized on his opportunities, then threw darts at the pins on 16 and 17 to draw even with Woods. It was a wonder that Zach’s approaches on those holes didn’t find the bottom of the cup.
On 18, Johnson found the fairway with his driver while Woods pulled 3 wood in to the left rough. He had an awkward stance and was lucky to leave his 2nd shot in the greenside bunker. Johnson had a green-light pin to fire at with an 8 iron. I figured hit stick it like GMac did 3 years ago and roll in the putt to win. Instead he fucking shanked it. This might have been the worst shot I’ve ever seen a professional hit. I could only laugh as the ball entered the hazard well right of the green.
The tourney should have been over……..just hand the trophy to Tiger, let’s all go home/flip the channel back to football/etc. Like I said before, Johnson doesn’t work that way. Next he did this from the drop zone:
Amazing. Think of all the times Tiger has done something like that to his opponent, pulling off the improbably to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. Woods’ reaction to having it done to him is priceless. I don’t even root for Zach. He bugs the shit out of me, but I can’t give him enough credit for that. It’s damn hard to hit a solid shot after a shank like he’d just hit. To execute like that with the entire tourney on the line and for it to go in….well……. phenomenal.
Breaking (Down) Tiger
If you’re scoring at home you’re realizing that Tiger still had a chance to win or tie Zach as Johnson only made par with his hole out. Tiger nearly holed his bunker shot and tapped in for par. The two went back to the 18th tee and both hit the fairway to start the playoff. Tiger over-cut his approach and left himself with almost the same bunker shot he had on the 72nd hole. Zach hit the green and left himself 30 feet for birdie. He two putted. Shockingly, Tiger missed a 5 footer that would have extended the playoff.
Tiger missed several putts near that distance on Sunday and the NBC guys didn’t really address the issue. Instead, Maltbie was in love with Tiger’s swing and tempo. He raved about his discussion with Sean Foley about how Tiger’s body is finally healthy. I don’t see it. He wasn’t hitting it that good. He looked rusty. He didn’t close his opponent out with his putter. I don’t think his game has improved at all since May.
Golf techies were all excited that Woods had a new toy in the bag this week. Nike birthed their revised version of the Covert driver by putting version 2.0 in Tiger’s hands. A picture of it is shown below thanks to the good folks at GolfWRX.
Tiger didn’t even use it after a miserable swing with it at the 10th hole of the final round. To be fair, some of the back 9 holes at Sherwood don’t set up for a player with Woods’ length to hit driver. I’m not sure it would have mattered as he didn’t appear to have much confidence in the new wrench. To me it the look of the club is improved from the 2013 version that Nike players have been using. The cavity is small and the red isn’t as harsh. It’s still too ugly to go in my bag.
Tiger Woods 2014
Watching Tiger get his own tournament yanked out from under him by Zach Johnson today made him look vulnerable to me. That might not be the case at all. Johnson was only in the playoff thanks to a shot he probably wouldn’t hole again if you gave him 50 more chances. But I can’t help but think Tiger is more likely to miss a significant amount of events in 2014 due to injury than he is to win a major. Sounds like a poll, doesn’t it?
So what do you think? Carbon copy of 2013 with wins but no majors? Decent year or better with 1 or more majors? Shit year with major injury? Hit up the poll, I’m curious to know if I’m the only one thinking he’s due for another health problem.