In case you hadn’t heard, Tiger Woods won Jack Nicklaus’ Memorial Golf Tournament on Sunday. Predictably, newspaper headlines on Monday had more than a few writers proclaiming Woods to be back. If you run in similar circles as I, you, and your friends are probably fed up being given heavy doses of Tiger Woods every time you turn on a golf event.
Yesterday’s outcome will not help calm that irritation. Ironically, Woods’ win was his 73rd and ties him with Nicklaus and with the U.S. Open beginning next week, if you don’t want Tiger 24/7, don’t watch golf. Making matters worse for those of you who are Tiger bashers, he will be playing at Congressional in a couple weeks, so there will be even more Tiger coverage locally.
At least Woods was in the headlines this time for playing well and not being force-fed down our throats after shooting 75 and missing the cut. We all hear people complain about the attention Woods gets from the media even though he isn’t playing very well, and sometimes he is playing downright poorly. Still, CBS will go out of their way to interview him and often neglect the players that are in contention and playing well. I think some of us blame Woods for that when it is not his fault. Blame the media.
Realistically though, Woods will always be a story. He was the best golfer on the planet for many years and on a pace to break every golf record in existence. Then there were a couple injuries, and then there was the sex scandal that accelerated his fall from the top of the world. So, on one hand the media does need to stay on the story, but do we really need to see him when he’s out of contention and going home on Friday?
What Woods did on Sunday was reminiscent of the old Woods. That doesn’t mean I’m saying he’s back, but the way he played down the stretch on Sunday showed he still has some gas in the tank. The shot he holed out on 16 for birdie says it all. For most pros, a well-played lob/flop shot from the thick rough behind the fast green would have given them a 10 foot par opportunity, anything less than 10 feet from there increases the greatness scale. With bogey very much in play, Woods holed the shot for a birdie, and he did it on a pretty big stage.
Still, Woods has not shown the consistency needed to contend for a U.S. Open and I would be surprised if he wins the open this year.