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.
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!
Cool to watch him win from The Woods Jupiter. pic.twitter.com/pig9sUrQ0O
— Tiger Woods (@TigerWoods) August 16, 2015
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.