I remember when Tiger Woods burst onto the sports world like a supernova. April, 1997. He won the Masters by 12 shots, and set the tournament scoring record at -18.
The guy who put the jacket on him, Nick Faldo.
Faldo was just 39 years old the previous spring when he reeled in Greg Norman. The Shark was 41.
And it was like the curtain came down on both guys as being remotely relevant in the golf world like a thud. It was like the golf world had changed overnight. There WERE NO great showdowns between the Shark and Tiger. Nor Faldo, the flawless golfing machine.
Both guys just faded away. Faldo retreated to the broadcast booth. Norman to his lear jet and business ventures. In THEORY, both men SHOULD have been able to use their golfing guile and experience to stay relevant. Neither Norman or Faldo were hobbled by injury or scandal at the same age. Neither one switched coaches a staggering FOUR times in their career, like Woods.
And yet, they were done.
Tiger will be 40 on December 30th.
Let’s get real. It’s over.
Still, Tiger insists a breakthrough is right around the corner. He’s crazy. He’s actually going the wrong way with this nobody Chris Como, who’s only being called a “consultant.” (Geez! Talk about confidence in a guy, right?) Instead, he’s like John Candy in “Planes Trains and Automobiles” scoffing at people who are watching this debacle.
If there’s one miracle left in Tiger’s back, it’s an easy one: CALL BUTCH.
It would take swallowing a whole lot of pride. It would take MORE months of reversing all the crap that’s been poured into his head about this “new pattern.”
And it still might not work. But it’s his only chance.
I believe one thing Tiger needs to realize is that he can’t bomb the ball down the fairway anymore like the younger guys can. He needs to work on getting the ball in the fairway instead of spraying the ball all over the course like I do sometimes.
It is painful to see a great completely fall well-below professional mediocrity. I don’t think Tiger is done, but Tiger will be done if he doesn’t learn some old man game real quick, get a good coach (yeah, Butch), and stop trying to be 25 years old on the tee. But for one of the first times I can recall, a tough course completely dominated and unraveled him.
The post PED, almost 40 year old Tiger needs to understand that his body will not allow him to take the reps he wants and bulk up like he wants to hone his A game to where it was in his hey day. He may still be able to have that killer short game, but he needs to understand what he can and can’t do with his ball striking first. BTW, has anyone ever looked more miserable on a golf course than Tiger this weekend????
Come on in, the water’s fine.