Grouchy Golf Blog

Saturday, June 21, 2008 at 8:42 AM

Tigers are Tough, Especially the Human Kind

A couple of years ago, ESPN's Gene Wojciechowski wrote an article that included a seemingly absurd proclamation that "Tiger Woods is the greatest individual athlete of our time. OK, of all time." After Tiger's unhuman-like performance at the 2008 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines, Wojciechowski's statement might be right on the money. Winning the most difficult tournament against the world's best with a torn ACL and a double stress fracture is nothing short of miraculous. Unfortunately, recovering from that injury will cost Woods the rest of the season. It seems that Wojciechowski might be the Carnac the Magnificent of golf with his prescient statement: "Only injury stands between Woods and any record worth owning."

But there are always haters out there who will try to bring you down. Surprisingly, the sharpest barb came from the usually docile Retief Goosen, himself a two-time US Open champion. When asked whether he believed that Woods was faking the extent of his pain, he said: “I think so. It just seemed that when he hit a bad shot his knee was in pain and on his good shots he wasn’t in pain. You see when he made the putts and he went down on his knees and was shouting, ‘Yeah’, his knee wasn’t sore. Nobody really knows if he was just showing off or if he was really injured. I believe if he was really injured, he would not have played.” Retief later tried to downplay his jealous-tinged remarks saying, “I was being light-hearted. No one but Tiger himself knows how badly hurt he was. But if he was really badly hurt, he would have withdrawn, wouldn’t he?”

Well Retief, maybe your wuss ass would have withdrawn, but Tiger is tough as nails. In addition, you just gave Tiger the extra motivation to crush you every time you set foot on the same course that he does. Get better soon Tiger, and when you get back it will be open season for Goose hunting. He may or may not be the greatest athlete, but Tiger Woods is the greatest competitor!


Anonymous anthonyloy said...

I agree, no one is more competitive. And he is dogged and determined when doing so. I get behind birdie putts that I stiff perfectly to six feet, pin high, and cannot nearly hole them as confidently or as clutch. I could make excuses like I'm playing a muni, no one wants me to take the time needed like Tiger can. But I bet a million and a half he could hole my putts more consistently using half the time I spend reading the green. Say this, I think we all love golf enough to play injured - even stress-fracture injured. I just don't think we can score well enough to win the US Open.

By the way, your blog changed my golf life. I started with a Golden Bear cavity-shit set. Dreamed of blades. Listened when golf-asses at Dunn and the like said single-digits only need apply. Gave them the finger when I read your take. Bought Tin Cup Magregor VIPs like Costner's (those he broke). Then upgraded to dream club Titleist 660 customs. I been playing just under 2 years...and I shoot in the 80s now, and will go lower. They do what you say: force me into a good swing. I get golf coaches who video me saying my swing's so solid for such a short start time. I say the unforgiveness of blades cattle-prodded my hands and joints into swinging on plane, short of parallel and square, so they feel like hitting cotton balls more than mis-hit rocks. That, and I'm a little obsessive about this game. Give me blades or give me death.  


Anonymous Mizuno Jim said...

Tiger rules. Period. Noticed something interesting over the weekend watching the Golfchannel and the interviews. Remember everybody complaining about the FedEx cup last year? This week opinions seemed a lot friendlier.. As if players all of a sudden realized that someone else then Tiger may walk away with USD 10 million at the end of the year.... It must be so frustrating to compete with Tiger!  


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Goosen should be careful. Tiger has a vengeful streak in him and will probably use that as more motivation to kick Goosen's butt every time they are in the same tournament. Of course...Goosen hasn't been playing well anyway lately...  


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whoa!! Wait a minute. What's that? Oh, that's the sound of Butch Harmon and Phil laughing with excitement.

They think they will take over the golfing world. It only takes a major win, a WGC win and PM is the new #1.

Mickelson believes Tiger will not come back 100%. Mickelson has always believed he has more game that TW (Trevino backs him up on that).

But, do you really think TW will sit at home with Sam and let Phil Slick Mick ascend to the top of the golfing world?

No way. Look for Tiger to come roaring back at the Masters and win by 2 strokes over Mahan.

Mickelson will scratch out a few more career wins, and maybe a random major or two, but at 38, his ability to generate a repetitive, consistent and reliable swing off the tee will get harder and harder.

Not to mention his putting technique, which is a circus.  


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Scott -

Completely agree. BTW, anything up with PM selling his house?  


Blogger Tony at TheGolfSpace.com said...

Either of his TWO injuries brings down an NFL player. F'n amazing.

What does this say for other PGA Tour players, that they can't beat TW when he has a blown out knee and two fractures in his tibia?  


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