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BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: Will Eldrick ever recover?


Awwww, little Eldrick forgot how to play the game.  Somebody get the little boy a tissue.

168 holes
4 eagles
37 birdies
90 pars
33 bogeys
4 double bogeys

Combined Score: -4
Scoring Average (9 rounds): 71.3

That above is what you would call a below average PGA golfer.  Other players who have at or around a 71.3 scoring average: Marc Leishman, Rod Pampling, Kris Blanks, and Jason Dufner.  Of course, we are not talking about just any below average golfer, we are talking about one Eldrick Woods.  I’m not going to call him “Tiger” anymore, because he has lost the right to be called that tough, fighting animal over the last 2 weeks.  His quitting last weekend, and his basically quitting 2 weeks ago were two of the lamest performances I have ever seen on the golf course. 

Before we get into ranting, take a look first at Tiger’s “comeback” and how its gone so far.

THE MASTERS
68-70-70-69 (-11, T-4th)

What happened:  Amazing enough, the week where the microscope was most focused on Eldrick was actually the week he played the “best”.  I put best in quotation marks because in reality Woods played average at best golf throughout the week.  He could not find a fairway for most of the week, but he greatly benefited by the ability at Augusta to hit it wild and recover.  Eldrick showed flashes of his old self, including carding 2 eagles in 2 different rounds.  But, his putting was mediocre, and he looked like a guy who didn’t play for 4 months.

But at the end of all that, he still finished in 4th place.  It made me think that once Eldrick got a few more rounds under his belt, he would be back to dominating the tour.  What was even more amazing is Woods put himself in contention for a major after a 4-month layoff AND A HURT NECK.  More on this later. 

On a side note, I don’t care one little bit about cursing on the golf course.  For those that call it a “gentleman’s sport”, I would tell you to pull the stick out of your rear, and realize that people curse when they do bad.  But, Eldrick told us he was going to “improve” his behavior.  And that is what stunned me, because it appeared to be all talk, as I didn’t see one instance where Woods acted any better than he did before.  Frankly, I don’t care how you act, throw your clubs after a bad shot and call the ball a piece of sh**.  But, don’t do those things when you make it seem you are going to make a concerted effort to not do that.  It’s seem incredibly superficial to me.

QUAIL HOLLOW CHAMPIONSHIP

74-79 (Missed Cut)

What happened:Well, I recognized several things over these two days of watching Woods hack around the course like Matt Jones at a muni.  First, Eldrick’s game is waaaaaaaaayyyyyyyy off.  He didn’t have a single aspect of his game that was at a top level.  For the second straight tournament, Woods could barely get the ball in play, hitting several into the water, and missing well over half of the fairways.  Now Woods normally hits it fairly wild, but he was at such an extreme level that it made it impossible for him to recover. 

Second thing I noticed was Eldrick’s complete lack of interest in playing the game.  The second round was, in my opinion, a disgrace to watch.  Woods FLAT OUT GAVE UP.  Which is something you and I might do on the back 9 after we shoot 50 on the front side.  But for a so-called “elite” golfer to do this, I found disgusting.  How many fans bought tickets to only see Woods?  And he paid them back by giving ZEROeffort, basically conceding any chance to play on the weekend.  And you know the sad part:  I think Eldrick was damn happy to miss the weekend.  He had no interest to play anymore that week, and so he didn’t try to make the weekend.

Of course, he was playing with hurt neck and all. 

THE PLAYERS CHAMPIONSHIP
70-71-71-QUIT (WOODS QUIT)

What happened:After the disgrace the previous week, I would have at least expected a decent effort from Eldrick at this tournament, the most prestigious PGA event after the majors.  Instead, after 3 mediocre rounds, Woods decided to not even put the pitiful effort in from the previous week, and chose to QUIT instead.  That’s right, I am not calling what Woods did “withdrawing” because what he did was quit.  Eldrick made the weekend, playing like an average golfer on Saturday, and started Sunday off poorly and said “This isn’t very fun, screw you guys, I’m going home”.  But the PGA doesn’t much like it players just flat out quitting without any excuse, so Woods then says he has a hurt neck. 

Now, let me get something straight, I am not saying that Woods doesn’t have some pain in his neck.  I actually think he did.  BUT, Eldrick claimed he had the pain 2 weeks BEFORE THE MASTERS.  So explain to me how the pain was good enough to play through the Masters with (and finish 4th), and the pain was good enough to play Quail Hollow with, and the pain was good enough to play 3 rounds in this tournament with, but when it became perfectly clear Eldrick wasn’t contending for this tournament, suddenly the pain became too much.  When it became perfectly clear Eldrick wasn’t going to make the cut of the previous tournament, he just gave up there too.

If you are an “elite” golfer like Woods, why if this neck pain is so bad you can’t finish a round, and you have had this pain for 6-7 weeks now, would you even enter the tournament in the first place.  Woods isn’t hurting for money, and if the injury is legit, then why would you risk it?  Well, the answer is fairly simple: WOODS DOESN’T WANT TO PLAY GOLF ANYMORE, OR AT LEAST NOT NOW.

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Let me pose these couple of questions to you all and see what you think:

1) Will Woods ever get back to being the best golfer in the world?  I say he likely will, and I use the Masters as a perfect example.  Despite all of his personal problems, media scrutiny, and poor game, he still finished 4th.  Eldrick has a unique ability of playing like garbage and still contending.  But, where his game is now only allows him to do this on certain courses, like Augusta.  Eventually, when his divorce is long over, and Woods has complete focus on golf, he should find ENOUGH GAME to get back to #1 and win enough majors to pass Nicklaus, just my opinion. 

2) Do you think Woods did steroids?  I only ask this question because all of the sudden that Canadian doctor with steroid ties gets discovered, a doctor that Woods used.  And at the same time, Woods body has begun falling apart with a torn Achilles and “hurt neck”.  Funny, that is what happens when you stop using steroids cold turkey.  The body becomes subject to injury more easily. 

3) Do you buy Woods claim he is not mentally ready?  I do not.  Let’s be honest: Eldrick has gone through a tough time over the last 4 months.  Destroyed marriage, first real bad publicity, golf game crumbling.  But then Woods take the club back to swing, what do you think he is thinking?  Is he thinking about all of his affairs, or is he thinking about hitting the golf ball?  Since the answer is clearly he is focused on hitting the ball, I don’t buy that he is not mentally ready.  He is mentally there because that is how elite athletes are.  What he is not is physically there.  His swing is jacked up.  He has lost confidence in his game, and for the first time in his career, I don’t think he knows how to fix it.

Article written by Bryan the Intern