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Saturday, June 28, 2014

Tiger Isn't Worried. Why Is the Media?

Once again it's Rant Day here at the Ruthless Golf blog. Buckle in, folks!

As you know by now, Tiger missed the cut at the Quicken Loans National. And for two days now we've heard everybody and his (or her) brother analyze why Tiger's swing didn't work quite right.

To be honest, I'm sick of it. The man hasn't played competitive golf for over 3 months. He's only been swinging his driver for two weeks. This brief foray into competitive golf -- a last-minute decision that he admitted he wouldn't have done if the event hadn't benefitted the kids his foundation helps -- was a test. He said Friday after his round that he hadn't even been sure how he would feel when he woke up after one round.

But to listen to the media, you'd think that Tiger was supposed to look like a finely-tuned machine instead of a recovering back patient. Really?

Tiger at Congressional

I've heard complaints that Tiger wasn't honest, that he "doesn't tee it up unless he thinks he can win." I've listened to or read a bunch of critiques of his "new swing" and why it's not going to work. And I've heard constant gripes that he really should tee it up next week at the Greenbrier so he can get in some more reps.

First of all, I'd like to know who doesn't change over the course of 15 years. Are you exactly the same you were a decade ago? If so, I feel sorry for you... even dead people decompose.

Perhaps I missed something but in the presser I saw, Tiger was asked if he thought he could win. He replied, "The goal is always the same..." but then he grinned and added "...but it'll be a lot tougher this time." That sounds to me like someone who thought the question was unrealistic and answered it with a joke. But apparently Tiger isn't allowed to change OR to joke.

Does anybody truly believe that Tiger's swing on Thursday and Friday is a finished product? Excuse me, but are two weeks of full swings after Tiger couldn't even move for a while enough time to completely figure out what changes are needed? As I recall, Tiger made a grip change on Wednesday during the pro-am. And on Friday he said his back didn't hurt but other muscles were sore from disuse. It's one thing to try and figure out what sort of changes Tiger and Sean Foley are trying out, but isn't it a bit early to be critiquing their efforts?

As for playing again before the Open -- the event he and his doctors were originally shooting for -- someone announced earlier in the week (I think I heard it on GC, but it could have been ESPN) that Tiger's doctors had OK'ed him for one week only. Sounds sensible to me, given the circumstances.

And given that this week wasn't originally in the plan and that presumably the doctors would like to evaluate him before he tees it up again, wouldn't committing to next week be a bit... well, STUPID? It amazes me how everybody could keep saying that they hoped Tiger would be smart and not move too fast, only to complain that he isn't moving fast enough!

With Tiger missing the cut this week, the doctors might have enough time to evaluate him and, if they believe it's safe, he would still have time to commit to the Greenbrier by cutoff time this Friday afternoon. But that's if they believe it's safe -- not the fans, not the sponsors, and certainly not the media.

Of course, given how often Tiger has fixed his swing without playing extra tournaments... does he really need to play more, just because the media says so? I understand he's taking his kids on vacation. Clearly the media's opinion worries him!

Tiger doesn't need me to be his apologist, and I haven't signed up for the job. But isn't it time to realize that Tiger Woods is a human being and treat him like one? He'll figure out his golf swing eventually and all will be right in the golf world again.-- he always does, you know.

But I for one am just glad he finally feels well enough to tee it up again. Couldn't we just celebrate that for a change?

OK, rant over. I don't know about you, but I sure feel better!


  1. I Like it, well said Mike. Not a fan of his Foley swing, but at least give him a chance to get back into the rhythm