Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Tiger: Time to shine

Before I begin I should say I'm not a big Tiger Woods fan. For the same reason I hate the Yankees, Kobe Bryant and the Patriots, Tiger Woods just rubs me the wrong way. I guess I just can't stand people/teams who are at the top of their game.

To say nothing of all the bandwagon fans. 

But I am interested to see how Tiger does this week at the US Open.

Earlier this year the hype around Tiger Woods reached astronomical levels. The popular buzz word back then was "Grand Slam," meaning Tiger Woods had a strong chance to win each of golf's four major tournaments in one year: The Masters, US Open, British Open and PGA Championship. This feat has never been accomplished. Tiger has won every major, and even all four majors in a row, but never in one calendar year.

Everyone seemed to think 2008 would be the year to do it, though.

Woods himself said it was "within reason."

However, golf is a funny game. A golfer's talent is only a part of winning a tournament. To win a tournament one needs to overcome all the obstacles: the weather, course conditions, competition, health, the time of day, equipment - all these and many more can influence a tournament.

For that reason, Tiger did not win The Masters, the first major of the season. He finished second to Trevor Immelman.

Immediately after the tournament, Tiger had surgery to repair a nagging knee injury. He hasn't walked a full round of golf since, but he is scheduled to take part in the US Open this weekend.

My gut tells me there's no way he'll be able to pull out a win. Walking 18 holes can bring some strapping, healthy young boys to their knees (Cade Taylor, for one). What will it do to someone with a sore knee? Also, how will his knee affect his swing? How will not playing in a tournament since The Masters affect Woods? These questions are swirling through my head right now, and I just can't seem to give them satisfying answers.

I just don't think Tiger can pull it off.

But then again, I've been wrong before. For instance, I thought the Jazz were a lock when Michael Jordan had the flu during Game 5 of the 1997 NBA Finals. Instead he came out and torched the Jazz for 38 points and led the Bulls to the win.

Ugh. I still remember seeing Jordan on the bench after the game. He looked like complete death.

So maybe, just maybe, the US Open will be Tiger Woods' "Flu Game." He may come out and destroy the competition, like he has done so many times before, limping the whole time. As a dramatic climax he will sink a 20 foot putt for the win, hobble off the 18th green on Sunday and fall right into an ambulance.

He may find a way to win. The great ones always do, and if Woods can make it happen he will have won my respect.


Evan said...

I don't think Tiger can do it. I just heard yesterday from D.P. that he was still limping just one week ago. Plus there are a few others that are hot right now.

Russ Nelson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Russ Nelson said...

I hope that he does win it, and that he has to limp the whole way just to prove to you naysayers that he is the best ever. Wake up and smell the roses, he's the best! I think it's great that he's playing so that he can prove to the world that he can win even when the stakes are down and when times are tough. This win will show his mental and physical toughness.

"When the going gets tough, the tough kick butt"
--Mighty Ducks

Cade said...

This is the real Cade Taylor and I will have you know I sunk two chip-in birdies (one from 20 ft away) on that 18 hole round of death. So, if I can do it, Tiger can do it.

jon said...

Look I am a huge TW fan, always have been. He is the best, and don’t think many people even question that and being the best is going to mean people will hate you for it, that’s just how it is. I think his first round will be his tell. I say top 10 if not number 1, and he still is hoisted up on everyone’s shoulders at the end for his accomplishment and the odds he overcame to get there.

Rock said...

What Tiger did over the weekend and on Monday was freaking clutch.