Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Angry Golfer says *** NO *** asterisks

I’ve got to admit that I’m getting pretty damned tired of hearing all this talk about putting asterisk next to Padraig Harrington’s name when listing his British Open and PGA Championship titles this year because those majors were Tigerless. Please show me the written guarantee that Woods would have won, or that he would have been in the mix in the final round. It was never etched in stone.

Having said that, would you ever imagine putting an asterisk next to Tiger’s name in a Major where Harrington wasn’t in the field? Of course not, both scenarios are ludicrous.

One thing that isn’t ludicrous is wondering how much of a factor Woods will be when he returns. Last reports are that he won’t even consider swinging a club until 2009. He’s planning his return at the 2009 Masters. Will he be a factor then? If anyone could be under those circumstances, it would be Tiger, but common sense today says bet on the Irish kid to be wearin’ of the green…jacket that is next April.

The golf world, most notably TV and the PGA Tour must consider the unthinkable. Tiger Woods may return as a mortal golfer. Knees aren’t constructed to withstand the pressure he puts on BOTH of knees in his current swing. The swing has to change. Sure he’s changed his swing before, but the changes were always to add power, not protect his body.

Tiger will always be a great golfer. He has the credentials already that have already cemented his place in golf history. Hopefully, we won’t look back at the 2008 U.S. Open and wonder what he could have been if it hadn’t have been for that knee.


In the past this corner has been somewhat critical of Sergio Garcia and his attitude. He has placed blame for his shortcomings in Majors on everyone but the locker room attendant. Following his runner up finish in the PGA Championship to the aforementioned Harrington, Sergio took full responsibility for his failings.
Normally, we could have counted on him blaming the terrible second shot he hit on the 16th in the final round that crossed the hazard then backed up into the water on any number of things, i.e. poor course setup, a sudden gale in his face, or the ever popular the gallery was against me. Instead, he admitted that he hit a poor shot.
That’s a start. He’s now closer than ever to having a winning attitude needed to succeed in Major championships. Unfortunately, he still can’t putt well enough to win a Major. By the way, I have a long standing rule. If a Major is won by a player using either a long putter or a belly putter, that tournament is no longer considered a Major. Both those style putters are a form of cheating. The only thing that should touch a club is the player’s hands and those hands shouldn’t be anchored by the torso.


Pardon me while I legend drop. I happened to bump into Jack Nicklaus at a function earlier this week and an old subject that we were polarized on was recalled. A decade ago, Jack spoke fervently about the need for the golf ball to be rolled back so that it wouldn’t go as far.

I was adamant that the longer ball was good for the overall game because the longer ball made the game more fun and would help keep people in the game. Ten years ago, I wasn’t totally wrong. Today, ah, mea culpa greatest golfer of all time.
“I could see where it was going and today we’re almost there,” Nicklaus said. “Yesterday, my son Michael, who doesn’t play very much, but hits it nine miles, told me he played a 537-yard par 4 and hated the fact he had to hit a 7-iron for his second shot. That’s not golf.

“The new ball of today doesn’t help the average golfer,” he continued. “If you have a swing speed of 110 miles an hour, you become a better player than you really are. If you don’t have that swing, the ball hurts your chances.”

He’s right. The super balls are for super swing speeds only. The rest of us are left to live with our shortcomings. The moral of the story is, never argue with the greatest golfer of all time (although it was fun being a little burr under his saddle for a little while even if he really didn’t notice).

Bartender, throw some crow into the blender, puree it and I’ll have it on the rocks with water on the side.

See you on the first tee,


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