Will The Last Golf Writer Waiting for Tiger Woods To Be Good Again, Please Turn Out The Lights?

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Somebody had to do it. At least, somebody of “stature” in the golf punditry. (I’ve said it for a while now, but we all know sports-radio-guy opinions don’t count!) Somebody had to have the balls to declare the Tiger Woods era officially: “over.”

I’m gonna give credit to the severely under-rated, straight shooting Rich Lerner of the Golf Channel.

Saturday morning, after Woods had slopped up the bloody remnants of his 3rd straight missed cut at a major, Lerner said succinctly, as the network went out to break: (and I’m paraphrasing closely from memory here) “As good as it was… there’s no doubt now, the Tiger Woods era is over. It now belongs to these guys…. (shot of Speith and Day).”

Bravo. ‘Bout damn time.

It’s one thing for Tiger himself, to navigate a delusional trip up the Nung River to find Col. Kurtz and bring him back alive, but for the assembled golf media to wait breathlessly for it had become quite the embarrassment. Ryan Burr of the Golf Channel, wins the award for Tiger-obsessed absurdity. After Tiger’s nice opening round at The Greenbriar, Burr opened Golf Central with an authoritative swagger, saying perhaps now Tiger was “all the way back.” He then asked a somewhat taken-aback Aarron Oberholser, if this would essentially “shut up” all the Tiger critics who said he’d never win again.

It was a Thursday. At the Greenbriar.

This year has been a spectacular shit-show for the man once poised to claim the title “Greatest Golfer Who Ever Lived.” It began with him flubbing chip after chip, and finishing dead last at his own 17 man charity event on his home course!

But don’t worry, said Tiger back then: “I think I found something!” (No really, he said that! Just like you and me, and every other hacker on the planet after 3 good shots in a row!)

It proceeded to more short-game horrors at Phoenix, a convenient case of glute de-activation to avoid more misery in San Diego. A self-imposed, overly dramatic “hiatus” ensued, with the manufactured drama of “will he come back in time for Augusta!!!”

He played the par-3 with Lindsay and the kids (which he never used to do) had a decent finish (T-17) while popping bones back into place, then bragged about “being in contention” (he wasn’t) and reminding everyone 500 times how he “worked his ass off” to fix his short game.

He then dumped Lindsay. Kept taking more “time off” for “vacations” after mediocre finishes (TPC). He shot 85 at Jack’s Place, missed the US Open cut by a trillion shots while cold-topping a 3-wood like a double-play chopper in baseball.

He was okay at Greenbriar, then told everyone he was “close.” Went to St. Andrews and found out that his version of “close” meant “still can’t play for the Isleworth A Team.” He muttered something about checking his spin rates (Bloodwork: “Negative.” Phew) then promptly took another vacation with the kids, and happily told the media all about it. (Dad Points: 500!)

He had few nice rounds at RTJ at his own event, and then drove his Atlas Moving Van on moving day right off a cliff, with a 74 that should have been an 80, if not for some miracle recoveries.

Afterward, he declared that he had “total control of his golf ball.”

Finally, he showed up at Whistling Straits this week and sounded realistic for the first time all year, saying merely he isn’t thinking about winning, he just wants to keep getting better.

He didn’t and isn’t, but that didn’t prevent him from trotting out the ol’ “total control of my golf ball” trope one last time, before cheerfully saying he had – once again! – FIGURED SOMETHING OUT ON THE PUTTING GREEN! (Alas, it was too late.)

He filed his paperwork for this week’s Wyndham, at a place that doesn’t suit him, and he’s never ever ever played. But in true Tiger form, he wouldn’t actually COMMIT COMMIT to the event, until he had discussed it with his “team”. I mean, really, what the fuck does that mean? Discuss it with my “TEAM?” You need a meeting with your agent and your caddy about playing Greensboro? Does “Frank the Headcover” get a vote?

Before jetting out of town, he humble-bragged about all of the exciting overseas golf he will be playing this fall, (silly season, appearance fee events) which was akin to hearing Michael Jordan get juiced up for a driveway game of H-O-R-S-E.

But hey, don’t forget: The Woods Jupiter has tuna crudo and fish tacos, plus big-screen TVs, where you can watch the 300 or so professional players Tiger can’t beat!

Tiger Woods will turn 40 on December 30th. He’ll never win another tournament again. He’ll be quasi-retired by 45. It was a helluva a ride. But it’s over. Go home, people.

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Steve Czaban is a 25 year sports radio veteran, who hosts an afternoon drive show in Washington D.C. "Czabe" also writes and edits his own commentaries for www.czabe.com and other on-line and print publications. He can be reached at czabe@yahoo.com.

12 COMMENTS

  1. We always live in the past…it is easier to go back and wax poetic about the glory days than it is to get excited about the present…tiger mania was fun while it lasted…those in the media who long for tiger to be good again still read box scores in the morning paper…golf is just golf right now and that is just fine with me

  2. I was one of the biggest fans of TW. I am still very much a fan of the great Lefty, and one of my all time favorites was my main man Vijay. What do they all have in common: Championship tour greatness on the horizon. But, the best way for TW to “go away” is to stop writing about him and covering him, unless he makes himself relevant again, which I think we can all be highly skeptical of.

  3. Lerner is severely under-rated? Gee-zus Czabe, you’ll say anything when you want your theory validated. He is a fawning, kiss-ass that wants to be some sort of golf poet, by spouting all sorts of breathy, Nantz-like puke. He is beyond annoying like some geeky kid who has to tell you every little semi-related historical reference that pops into his head, as if he is impressing you with his infinite wisdom when in reality all he is doing is regurgitating trivia. Sorry Czabe, but you lose serious golf cred with statements like that one.

  4. Wow Czabe. It’s almost like it never happened, the greatness. I know I wasn’t dreaming. I never really liked the guy because he was such an ass!! But I was never a Tiger hater, I just understood I was watching golf greatness and tried to appreciate it. It’s so sad to watch him now almost not able to even hit a damn ball straight. I almost feel a little sorry for him(calm down, I said a little) but I feel more sorry for my son and young golf fans like him. He is 12 and a golf nut and it sucks to have to explain to him that this guy was once unbeatable. He looks at me and says, really? Fortunately he has his favorites, Rickie, Jordan and Dustin. And lucky for him they seem to be pretty descent fellows. I’m 44 so my guys growing up were Freddy, Davis, Nick, also pretty descent fellows. I’m from Greensboro and still live close and everybody is freakin because Tiger is coming. My son and I have been to the tourney several times and I was thinking about going again but not now. The parking will suck and the crowds will be crazy full of people just out to see Tiger. Who wants to see this version of Tiger? Sedgefield is a great course but the viewing areas are small so they will be packed. I’m glad for the city because it will bring in more money but that’s about all.

    • Czabe – I agree 99% of what you say and u r my favorite sports writer hands down. I disagree with you though and think Tiger “will” win again. Golf is a fickle game and can go away and come back anytime. He will find the spark again and win golf tournaments. He wont catch Jack but he will be relevant again. His desire is too strong and his talent will shine again………. Look at the first 2 rounds this week. if he does win, you will regret writing this article

  5. It’s still appropriate for Tiger to wear the red-shirt because much like an anonymous crewman in “Star Trek”, he’ll be killed off in the first half of the tournament (movie).

  6. What amazes me about the whole Tiger, will he do it again debate, is that i don’t here anybody mention the main reasons for his early demise. 1. He has gone from probably the greatest “feel player” since Seve. I.E. best touch, hands, short game, escape artist, etc. To becoming Nick Faldo 2. He is the most mechanical player out there. Spin rates, positions, launch angles, etc. 2. His body breaking down. He surely was on HGH or roids or something. He went from being a twig, to the biggest guy in golf, back down to average size guy. He and A-Rod both were flying in Dr. Galea from Toronto for treatment before the good Dr. got busted. http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/news/story?id=6743448 3. His Ego. He has cut loose everybody that has been able to help his game. Caddies, coaches, etc. He can’t allow them to get any credit for his success. Now he has a swing consultant, and he is his own coach. He has no one else to blame but himself.

  7. I half agree with you. The Tiger Era is over, for sure – that part isn’t debatable.

    I disagree, however, when you say Tiger won’t win again. He won’t win another major, but I think he’ll put together four rounds of great golf for a lesser event sometime before he retires. He came close last week – really close.

    Assuming his delusional view of his game is lifted, or his spirit finally breaks, he’ll realize firing Butch was the biggest mistake he ever made, and maybe – just maybe – he’ll get back on track for a win of some kind.

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