Chasing Tiger….

By Aaron M Smith

This just in – Tiger Woods interrupted my vacation and I want an apology!! As I was trying to enjoy the last remaining rays of the Florida sun before having to head back to winter,  Tiger Woods was less than 2 hours away – making the world stop.  Tiger Woods stepped up to a podium and time stood still. Even as I spent my lunch at the Cortez Kitchen, eating Fried Oysters and Hush Puppies ( it was Friday and it’s Lent – what can I say), all eyes were glued to the television for those 11 minutes. Tiger if you are out there and reading this – you didn’t owe me an apology before – now you do. My last remaining time in the sun was spent listening to so-called “experts” trying to interpret what he said or better yet – people asking me what I thought his intentions were. Personally, I am more worried about the snap hook I developed with my irons over the  last 3 months of dormancy. Where did that nasty habit come from?

But after those 11 minutes, I am pretty sure I heard a  long and loud collective groan.  No,  it wasn’t from the Fried Oysters settling my stomach. Rather that collective groan   came all the way from Augusta, GA as Masters officials heard the speech and realized that Tiger probably isn’t playing in the 2010 Masters (Note:  I am so glad my ticket application for the Masters was rejected, as this news would have truly provoked a groan from me).  Most golf analysts felt that before February 19th, Tiger would back in time for the 2010 Masters. No way was this disappearing act going to continue for that long.  Tiger would never let the opportunity of winning a Major slip through his fingers. But after those 11 minutes, people aren’t so sure anymore. Now the question is whether Tiger will be back in 2010. Wait- did you just hear that? It was another groan, this time from the West. Its from the people running the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach. No Tiger in 2010? It could happen.

So what does this mean outside of a probable 30% drop in attendance and TV viewership? Well for starters it means more Sunday afternoons of watch Ian Poulter and Paul Casey battling it out for the tournament championship. No offense to either golfer, but they are no Tiger in red staring down his opponent during his Sunday charge. By the way, Ian Poulter may have become the first golfer in the history of the PGA Tour on Sunday to actually win a  tournament in a pink leisure suit. But I digress.

It also means that there will be a new No. 1 in golf. Tiger’s stranglehold on the top spot will soon give way to another golfer. But who will it be? Which golfer has the game to take it to the next level and lay claim to that top spot? Well that is what we are going to discuss over the coming weeks. As we lead up to the Masters, we are going to take a look at the golfers most likely to take away  the claim of being the No. 1 in golf.
Until then – I am going to find Tiger. I want an apology….

8 Responses to "Chasing Tiger…."

  1. Dan   February 23, 2010 at 10:08 am

    Steve Stricker is currently the world’s #2. By the way, he lost in the 1st round of the Accenture Match Play.

    Mickelson? Mickelson?? Where are you? Where have you ever been? Finally your opportunity to garner all of the spot light in the world of golf. Finally a chance for you to emerge out of Tiger’s shadow and carry the tour… But No.

    How about the young guys, Anthony Kim, Rory McElroy…. Time to emerge onto the scene…Of Course Not….

    This tour SUCKS without Tiger. Yeah, I said it, it sucks. I love watching golf and watch almost every Sunday during the summer as well as all 4 rounds of every major, plus as much of regular tourneys on Thurs. Fri. and Sat. I am an avid golf watcher. I do know what I’m talking about. There needs to be one or two guys out there that you know will come to play each week. Tiger has been that, whether you like him or hate him. He adds so much to the tour; he is needed.

    My father in law hates seeing Tiger win all the time, yet he admitted to me last week that it simply is not as entertaining as when he’s there.

    Imagine Major League Baseball without the Yankees, or the NBA without LeBron, Kobe, and the Lakers. Imagine the Olympic Hockey tournament without a heavy favorite like Canada or Russia. How exciting is a world series between the Minnesota Twins and the Colorado Rockies, or a regular season NBA game on Christmas day featuring Joe Johnson (Hawks) and Kevin Durant. Imagine a Olympic Hockey Championship between Belarus and Norway.

    Favorites and the underdogs chasing them make sports dramatic and appealing. Frontrunners are needed.

    So, as much as you might hate Tiger, as much as you might think his statements are BS, he is needed in Golf. Most people would not have known the Accenture Match Play was on had there not been so much press about Tiger interupting the tournament. He drove up ratings, even by NOT being there.

    Golf needs him back. Golf watchers need him back. If not Tiger, who?…

    …Anyone seen John Daly recently?? (His new reality show could answer that question and I might rather watch that show than a regular tour stop without Tiger)….

    Yeah…I said it…

  2. Smitty   February 23, 2010 at 10:56 pm

    Dan, I couldn’t disagree with you more..

    The PGA long survived before Tiger came on board and the PGA will survive well after Tiger has left it – permanently.

    The fact is there is a lot of great golfers on the tour and it will still be fun to watch without Tiger. The problem is the PGA and Television networks have sold us on Tiger Woods. Even when he is not in contention, they still show Tiger when he is playing. We are forced fed Tiger Woods on TV and in the end – we miss a lot of great golf.

    Don’t get me wrong. Tiger Woods is great for the game and he has brought golf to new levels. But the comparison you made is like saying the NBA wasn’t good before Michael Jordan came along. Or the NHL sucked before Wayne Gretzky came along. Or for that matter – baseball sucked until Barry Bonds. To say the PGA sucks is a slap in face of Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Walter Hagen, Ben Hogan, Sam Snead, Harry Vardon and Frances Quimet. There are others, but this game has been great for a long time and has given golf fans a lot of great memories.

    Is Tiger Woods really the best golfer out there? I don’t think he is leaps and bounds better than the rest of the PGA tour. What separates Tiger is his mental approach to the game. The man has nerves of steel and that has bode well for him on a lot of Sundays. Heck Tiger Woods is one of the worst in accuracy off the tee – to the point he can’t use his driver off the tee. Why? Because he overswings.

    Why hasn’t Anthony Kim or Rory McElroy not won more? Because they are young and still learning how to win. Tiger benefited from having a father that had him competing at a very young age. These guys are still learning to win – give them time. They will become some of the best in the game.

    Mickelson? He has only played in a handful of tournaments in 2010 – cut the guy some slack. Steve Stricker? He lost in match play on one weekend and you are ready to dismiss him? Match play and tournament play are completely two different types of tournaments. A lot of golfers have a hard time transitioning back and forth. But Stricker’s caddy has been on record on saying that Stricker is one of the best in the game – swing-wise. The guy just had to learn how to close out tournaments and become a winner. Over the last year, the guy has been on an absolute tear – I am thinking he has figured it out.

    Another factor right now is there has been a major change in the equipment. The wedges these guys use have been changed and a definite advantage has been taken away. Wedges can no longer be as sharp and the grooves have been widened on the clubs. As a result, guys aren’t getting the same spin on the ball and not getting as close to pins as they have in previous years. That type of change takes time.

    Me? I will gladly keep on watching the PGA come future Sundays – with or without TIger Woods. Do I think they are better with him? Absolutely! Do I think they suck without him? Absolutely not.

    And me personally – I would watch Joe Johnson and Kevin Durant go at it any day of the week.

    But that is one man’s humble opinion.

  3. Casey   February 23, 2010 at 11:24 pm

    Tiger owes me an apology too – I want an apology because I will never get back the 13 and a half minutes I wasted in front of the television last Friday.

    All those great golfers and where is Bobby Jones? C’mon Smitty!!! Bobby Jones for the love of …of…Augusta.

    Did you have to mention basketball in a golf thread? YOu know I can’t let that one go by. Joe Johnson vs. Kevin Durant – any day of the week. At least those guys don’t hold their front offices hostage. At least not yet anyway.

  4. crossword pete   February 24, 2010 at 7:47 am

    Whenever I did watch golf (and it was seldom) it was to watch Woods. The PGA will survive, but will it ever again THRIVE, as it did when Woods was a hero? Time will tell. In the meantime, I’m one that’s not watching. And no apology from him needed. I listened to his speech on Sirius in the car when I had nothing else to do. As to the analyses, they were all predictable and came from sources that I wouldn’t give a plugged nickle for, so no time wasted by me on that one. I made my own analysis. I like Tiger. I liked his speech. I hope he can rectify matters in his life. If he returns to the course, I’ll watch him. If he doesn’t…oh well.

  5. bill r   February 24, 2010 at 8:59 am

    I’ll say this – at least with Tiger out for a while, now the white man stands a decent chance of winning on a golf course.

    And when Tiger does come back, if I’m the golfer paired up with him, I’d use a Playboy bunny for a caddy. “Say Jessica, could you clean up my wood for me?”

    But that’s just me.

  6. Casey   February 24, 2010 at 9:01 am

    Pete

    I want to give you a helmet sticker just for working the term ‘plugged nickel’ into your response.

  7. Dan   February 24, 2010 at 2:22 pm

    Smitty, I appreciate the fiery response. Good stuff. Lots of good points made. I appreciate the banter. Keeps me active and interested.

  8. Mckinley Schibi   September 8, 2010 at 6:38 pm

    Thankyou for the thorough post. Here are a couple tips to create a better golf swing for the other readers:

    1. Consider full advantage of your lower body power

    Individuals see golfers and so they notice most of the movement taking place in the arms. Nevertheless, the genuine energy for the shot comes from leg muscles. Your arms and wrists are important, but with out the energy supplied from your trunk you wouldn’t hit the ball farther then 50 feet. It’s extremely important to let your entire physique work together inside your golf golf swing.

    2. Take your time, gradual down your golf swing.

    It isn’t essential to have such a lighting fast back again swing resulting in a rushed down swing. A gradual golf swing does not lack power. Instead, it is managed until the proper level. The whole golf swing ought to be slow. The main level is to keep a smooth rhythm for your golf swing. You can have energy and strike the ball far without getting the fastest swing. The transition in between the back again golf swing and lower swing will be the most significant. Assist better your golfing golf swing by pausing on the prime of your back swing, generating certain you don’t rush your intense down golf swing. Follow this tip and your accuracy will improve for sure.

    Golfing doesn’t have the physical contact that football or hockey does. There isn’t a lot operating neither. Nevertheless, what it does require in order to be dominated is correct muscle management. I hope this improve my golf swing tip will help you guys.

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