March 05, 2006

Tiger takes Doral for second straight year: For a guy who can't hit it in the fairway, he has won 4 stroke play tournaments out of 5. The only thing that has beaten him so far is the flu.

posted by dbt302 to golf at 06:10 PM - 23 comments

What I've always said (or meant) is that Tiger is practically the only golfer on tour that can win tournaments while missing as many fairways as he does (hit 4 out of 14 Sunday). My point has always been if he hit more fairways, he would probably win by 10-15 strokes. His approaches would be that much more lethal. He still hits his short-swing 3-wood tee shot better than most hit driver. I still would like to see him unleash with the big dog, though.

posted by dyams at 06:20 PM on March 05, 2006

wow, the Colombian came out of nowhere to get second. I'm sure he plays there a lot.

posted by zippinglou at 06:23 PM on March 05, 2006

The killing stat for Tiger was that he hit 4 of 14 fairways (thanks dyams) but hit 16 of 18 greens in regulation. He was 16 for 16 at one point. Terrible fairways hit percentage and still shoots 3 under for the round.

posted by dbt302 at 07:04 PM on March 05, 2006

Today was rather boring to watch. Tiger bogeys the last holes and wins. I hope the competition is a bit stiffer sometime soon. Does Tiger even have a worthy rival?

posted by Bill Lumbergh at 07:11 PM on March 05, 2006

Tiger's also so much more dominating when he takes charge from the start. That round-one 64 set the tone, and when he's leading, he's generally unbeatable. You're right, though dbt302, that 16 of 18 greens in regulation when not hitting many fairways off the tee is incredible. Although it sounds like a broken record, the guy is amazing.

posted by dyams at 07:59 PM on March 05, 2006

Obviously, Doral is not near as fearsome as it once was, despite adding a billion bunkers a few years ago, and lengthening many of the holes as well. As for Tiger, what can you say? He is in another league right now (again). Will that inaccuracy off the tee affect his chance at this years majors? I would think so, but I am sure he has something up his sleeve. He is just plain better than the rest of the field at this point. That talk of everyone raising their games the last couple of years a couple (Phil and Ernie in particular) may have been as much a part of the so called "slump" Tiger was enduring as anything else.

posted by mjkredliner at 11:01 PM on March 05, 2006

Great side stories here....its supposed to be PHIL'S tournament, being the Ford guy on tour (remember, Tiger is the Buick guy)...but, like 'what will Phil do next?", maybe hit it in the water?...again-duoh. Tiger gets Phils goat again. Villegas played college golf in Florida, is from Columbia and drew the neatest galleries. Sorry, zippinglou, he didn't come from nowhere. He won eight titles at Univ.of.Florida and played Nationwide last year, earning a promo to the tour this year off last years Nationwide money. With this third place, and last weeks second place in Arizona, he has iced a card for the rest of this year and next. Watch out for him now in earnest, with no worries about keeping his playing card. This course was never this easy when it has all the palm trees. Not only has the monster lost 400-500 trees, the added air flow throughout the course has firmed up all the fairways and grounds in general. Guys like Crenshaw (1988) used to win here with -10 to -14. (short and stright, but great putting) Given a choice of 280 in the fairway with 170 yard approach shots, or 330 drives anywhere with 120 yard wedges to the greens, go with distance. I'd hope the course plants a lot of trees before next years World Golf tournament.

posted by Leominster at 12:12 AM on March 06, 2006

It's all very well winning tournaments left right and centre, but someone needs to have a word about that shirt. He wore the same colour on Sunday in Dubai and I thought it was an unfortunate accident, brought about from dressing in the dark, but it seems to be emerging as the new Sunday shirt of choice - he can say what he likes about it being red, but that's "salmon" in anyone's book.

posted by JJ at 06:34 AM on March 06, 2006

someone needs to have a word about that shirt. Anything the guy wears, uses, etc. will automatically make it to the shelves and into the hands of consumers. He's a marketing goldmine.

posted by dyams at 07:11 AM on March 06, 2006

That's precisely what I'm worried about. This was a dodgy final day shirt too. But when you end up holding this having shot 66 in the last round, I'm not sure anyone cares. This was also a terrible final day choice - especially as it was hot out there - but again, when Augusta take the bad look off you by covering your shirt with one of these, who cares?

posted by JJ at 07:29 AM on March 06, 2006

Sartorial nonsense aside, here is a link to an interesting article from this month's Observer Sports Monthly. It talks about the impact Tiger has had (and continues to have) on the game, and specifically on the level of prize money. In 1996, the year Woods turned pro, Tom Lehman led the money list with $1,780,159. The next year Woods came top, becoming the first person to earn more than $2 m in a season. Since then the number of players who have joined Woods in making $2 m-plus in a year has increased spectacularly. In 1998 there were three, in 1999 there were nine, in 2000 there were 15, until last year the top 30 all made more than $2 m, sharing out over $100 m in prize-money between them. In less than a decade, the US tour has become a multi-millionaire's playground.

posted by JJ at 07:43 AM on March 06, 2006

Talk of challengers to Tiger's reign is pure hype. Phil, Vijay, Sergio? Not even close. Tiger can be off his game and still finish top 20. When other players are off they finish 57th or don't even make the cut. When Tiger is completely on his game, he is unbeatable, as in everyone else is playing for 2nd place.

posted by whitedog65 at 07:50 AM on March 06, 2006

Talk of challengers to Tiger's reign is pure hype. Exactly. The media is dying to find someone to challenge the guy, but none are capable. This doesn't mean others won't win, but all other golfers are far too inconsistent in comparison. Look at all Tiger's wins, for God's sake! Other players on tour get one win per year, they feel they've really done great. If Tiger only won once or twice, people would be disecting his life, his swing, his health, etc. wondering what in the world was wrong. Tiger's only competition, in a majority of the cases, is himself. Phil, Vijay, Ernie? Please. Sergio? No freakin' way (except during the Ryder Cup).

posted by dyams at 08:01 AM on March 06, 2006

*L* I can't remember a more fickle crowd for one sporting star. I don't mean that as anything personal against you guys - I have no idea where you stood in the clamour in 2004 - but I don't ever remember so much hype for one player. When he was playing not quite as well as he usually does (so still pretty well compared to everyone else) in '04, there were cries far and wide about how he'd never been that good in the first place and now he was showing his true colours. Now he is coming off the back of a reasonable season and has started hot - suddenly the loudest voices are claiming the game is up for the rest. For what it's worth, I don't think either proclaimation is true. He's clearly the best in the world at the moment, and may go on to become the best we've ever seen, but who is to say some young player from who-knows-where isn't about to burst onto the scene and push him properly? *dusting off the clubs*

posted by JJ at 08:24 AM on March 06, 2006

Well, I have to say that right now, you'd be hard-pressed to suggest that Tiger hasn't taken his game again up a notch. He's won, what 3 of the 5 tournaments he's entered this year? The Columbian kid looked not just talented, but very composed. I was impressed with his aplomb after bogeying 18 - that kind of finish usually sends even more experienced pros directly to the Bud Light tent. And he's quite the snappy dresser. Tiger is dressing like he's getting ready for the Champions Tour. I'm all for the classic look - but what's with the blue pastel followed by the pink numba ('salmon' my ass)?

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 08:44 AM on March 06, 2006

Sorry - that's 4 out of 5 tourneys for Tigger, as per the article, the FPP, the newspaper, the internet, my Dad... A few sources that could have been checked. Ugh - Monday strikes again.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 08:46 AM on March 06, 2006

you'd be hard-pressed to suggest that Tiger hasn't taken his game again up a notch That certainly seems to be the case - with the frightening caveat that there is still a lot of room for improvement (like if he puts away that ridiculous SasQuatch and gets himself a decent driver - the problem isn't all in the equipment, but it can't help that his driver looks like it was designed by Fisher Price).

posted by JJ at 09:32 AM on March 06, 2006

it would be nice to see a real challenger to Tiger BUT it isn't going to happen! This Columbian is just the latest in the pretenders brigade! One hit wonders! The reason is simple. Just like Michael in Basketball, Gretzky in Hockey and Federer in Tennis, the guy has TOO MUCH TALENT! Tiger has shots in his bag that other golfers have not even imagined trying, yet he never is unable to pull of the seeming impossible! Other golfers work on hitting it straight, yet Tiger works on hitting it all kinds of angles and trajectories. His work ethic and his devotion to perfection are unmatched! The other golfers may win now and again, and so will this Vilega kid, but over the long haul, when things are not the norm, they will faulter. Not Tiger. He has won every major at every venue imaginable! He is by far the most talented golfer ever. Even Jack Nicklaus stated a few years back that "Tiger plays a game of which i am not familiar". That is like Jesus Christ himself saying that some preacher is better at spreading Gods word than himself! Enjoy the man while he is in his prime. He will obliterate every record in golf and no one will come along in a 100 years to break them. Good points were made here in previous post about Tiger having no consistent challengers. Trust me, Tiger would love a Jack vs. Tom Watson rivalry but it isnt going to happen. His dominance is too great. His mind and will are too fierce. Tiger loves competition. Look how dissapointed he was when John Daly(the peoples champ) missed the gimme recently. He WANTED the game to go on, but Daly lost his composure(Tigers fault?) and the match was over. That is greatness! That is Tiger.

posted by bluekarma at 10:35 AM on March 06, 2006

He has won every major at every venue imaginable! Hardly - his ten major wins have come at just six venues (Augusta [x4], Pebble, Bethpage, St Andrews [x2], Valhalla and Medinah) all of which could be said to suit his game. He's very good, but he's not that good. Nicklaus's comment was very nice, but it's worth remembering that it pays homage to what Bobby Jones once said of Nicklaus. Tiger is great, and I love watching him, but he has a long way to go before he can be called better than Nicklaus.

posted by JJ at 11:18 AM on March 06, 2006

I remember Tiger saying early this year he has lost some power. I wonder how many people believe that after he hit a 3 wood from the fairway, 286 yards and on the green in round 1. Not to mention the par 3, 234 yards, where he hit a 5 iron, the club flew from his hands, and the ball is still landing on the green. Lost power? I'm not sure you can compare Jack and Tiger too much. You can always compare wins and stuff like that but because the game has changed so much, some comparasons can't be made. Jack was the best in his time and Tiger is the best in his. It would be fun to watch them play together in their primes.

posted by dbt302 at 11:44 AM on March 06, 2006

JJ, amen to all you said in your last post except "he's very good, but he's not that good". What he has done in 10 years is unequaled. But no , he still cannot be called the greatest ever. But he has indeed put together the best 10 year run in the history of the game.

posted by mjkredliner at 12:35 PM on March 06, 2006

Sergio Garcia - man, I must admit, I thought he would have done more by now. He's still young, but c'mon, with all they hype he should be winning more.

posted by Bill Lumbergh at 01:26 PM on March 06, 2006

Nerves of steel. Tiger is one of the few players who can make a terrible shot, show his emotion by throwing a little tantrum, and actually recover to play better. Most players either mask their frustration, or fall apart after getting mad. Tiger's physical game is awesome, but his attitude plays a huge part in his wins.

posted by whitedog65 at 02:38 PM on March 06, 2006

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