February 02, 2011

Rookie says Tiger Woods mailed it in on Sunday at Torrey Pines: Tiger Woods has been known for a lot of things over his career, but giving up at a golf event has never been one of them ... until now.

posted by BornIcon to golf at 02:52 PM - 11 comments

Big difference between "Once it started going in the wrong direction, I don't think it had his full attention." and, "mailing it in". To me, mailing it in signifies that you never intended to give your best, and the writer shouldn't infer that Steele said that.

Tiger wasn't in contention, so if after he had a poor start on Sunday and his A game wasn't on, I don't blame him too much for not being 100% into it. I think that happens in every sport.

That being said, I think a rookie has better things to do than get on the wrong side of Tiger Woods.

posted by dviking at 04:20 PM on February 02, 2011

I'm guessing Steele didn't mean for his comment to be as critical as it sounded. He said on Twitter after the round, "Fun day at Torrey Pines. Thanks so much to @TigerWoods for being so friendly. Really meant a lot to me." Does that sound like a guy who's about to kick Tiger right in his womanizer?

posted by rcade at 10:01 PM on February 02, 2011

Seems to me that if Tiger's gonna hold a grudge against anyone about this, it should be Shane Bacon. That quote from Steele sounds like it could've been a reply to a question of how Steele shot a better round than Tiger, or how it felt or whatever. Given what rcade posted, I really doubt that Steele meant what he said as a knock on Tiger.

posted by outonleave at 06:09 AM on February 03, 2011

Guess the press training for rookies ain't what it used to be, but agreed that the journalist is trying to make more of it than he should. Can't blame him though, I mean the tournament was only won by one shot by a lefty from a lefty, with the latter having the flag tended from 85 yards on the final hole and then nearly holing his third shot of an eagle to force a playoff - what kind of story can you find in there? Seriously. I've got nothing. Not even the fact that Lefty (the one with the capital L) played more conservatively and saw the benefits, and acknowledged the benefits, even if he did say he didn't much like doing it. It's not like that suggests he might be in the right sort of frame of mind to win at Augusta or anything. And Bubba winning a tournament only a couple of months after losing his father? That's hardly a story either. Just like it's completely uninteresting that Jhonathan (sic) Vegas got a phone call from Hugo Chavez last week to congratulate him on winnning the week before, but told his president he'd have to call him back some other time because he was busy playing at Torrey Pines, where he finished pretty high despite a bit of a watery final hole.

So, yeah, there really was nothing else worth writing about other than Tiger not playing very well and looking a bit miffed about it.

Do these asshats get paid? I'm serious, do they?

posted by JJ at 08:43 AM on February 03, 2011

JJ, unfortunately, your entire "there was a golf tournament going on" theory is based upon the flawed premise that there are aspects of golf that aren't Tiger Woods. And yes, those asshats get paid, just like every other myopic asshat in the sports world who can only fixate on one flavor du jour at a time. And I think they fail to realize that fans of golf are not the late 90's variety who only became interested in one player.

It's gotten to the point where I have a hard time watching golf anymore, and that makes me sad. During every major, ESPN gives a continuous "Tiger Update." During highlights segments, his every hole is analyzed, while we see two or three of the eventual winner's shots. Even while cutting away from continuous on-course Tiger coverage to show another "lesser" player hit a shot, the announcers normally discuss Tiger and his potential influence on the decisions being made by the rest of the field.

posted by tahoemoj at 11:15 AM on February 03, 2011

I wonder if people who cover sports even like them anymore. It hardly seems like it. It's easy to cover the crap surrounding it if you aren't invested in the event itself.

posted by bperk at 11:50 AM on February 03, 2011

This shouldn't be a big deal, but the fact remains a rookie should have the sense to generally refrain from any comment(s) that could be twisted into being negative towards Tiger Woods, or any of the other main PGA attractions. Regardless of how he meant the comment, he should realize that in print, a comment can be made to "sound" any way a reader wants it to.

The tournament itself was fairly entertaining. It's still strange Mickelson didn't go for the green on 18 instead of laying up, although I'm not 100 percent sure how far it was from his ball to the green on that second shot. True, he didn't have a good shot, and his tee shot sucked, but he was definitely playing for second place. Why not at least wait to see how Watson fares with his putt, then decide to either lay up or go for the green? Maybe I'm missing something, but since this thread is, in part, about Woods, does anyone think he (Tiger) would have attempted a layup in that situation?

posted by dyams at 01:31 PM on February 03, 2011

Phil had 226 to carry the water from the rough - the lie didn't look great, but it's not easy to judge that on TV. Feherty made a decent point, that getting it over the water wasn't the problem; getting it over the water and stopped in time from the rough was going to be too tough, and the pitch from the back of the green is very difficult (although it's maybe a stretch to say that it's more difficult to hole than the 85 yards he left himself).

I was surprised he didn't wait, not only because I thought he should go for it anyway, but also because I think Bubba's putt would have been a whole lot tougher if Phil had only hit one shot and still looked like he might get home in two; that would have put in Bubba's mind that he might be putting to make a playoff rather than to win. As it was, Phil laid up, so Bubba knew he had a putt to win.

I don't think Phil played for second, I think he just hasn't mastered this "playing conservatively" thing that he talked about earlier in the week. Westwood has missed out on a couple of majors for the same reason - hanging in there is admirable and wise, but when it's coming down to the crunch, you have to know when to sprint for the line. Phil obviously came into the week having decided that every decision he faced, he was going to take the conservative option.

On the plus side, he bloody nearly holed his 3rd shot anyway!

posted by JJ at 01:58 PM on February 03, 2011

His shot to the green was amazing. The fact he can walk up, look at the green, walk back, then hit that shot with all eyes on him, is incredible and obviously one of the things that makes him one of the best in the world. It's just too bad he didn't lace a drive down the fairway on that hole.

posted by dyams at 04:44 PM on February 03, 2011

I think Phil should have waited for Bubba to putt, even if he had already decided to lay up. Why not play the mental side of it, we are talking about golf here.

Great event, and I hope Lefty can stay on top of his game this year.

posted by dviking at 10:15 PM on February 03, 2011

If Phil doesn't end his career with 6 or more majors (so two more at least from here on in) I will think he has underachieved, although I guess he'd swap 5 more "other" majors for a US Open win. Maybe.

I think Westwood is the best bet this year (in a gambling sense). He's 18/1 to win at Augusta and will continue to be roughly those odds until he wins a major, which to me suggests that as long as he doesn't take more than 18 majors to win one (or become the first world number one NOT to win a major), I'll make some money if I back him every time.

Three guys have become World Number One before winning a major. Woosnam did it on the Monday of the Masters he won, Couples did it a few weeks before the Masters he won, and Duval did it a couple of years before finally winning the Open. For this year's Masters, Westwood is worth an each way look if nothing else.

posted by JJ at 07:45 AM on February 04, 2011

You're not logged in. Please log in or register.