Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Why the Tiger and Phil Rivalry Chatter Needs to Simmer
If you've ever visited golf sites like this one, you noticed that during off weeks, we try to find filler. We will focus on anything to get a post up, and possibly induce a little banter between readers.
That is why on Monday, i found myself reading two stories focused on the Tiger Woods - Phil Mickelson rivalry. The gist of the stories were this -- since Phil won at Augusta, and Tiger did not, the two are in for some serious battles the rest of the season.
It is the same tired argument we've had drummed up for years upon years, or for as long as I can remember running this blog.
Here is something we should all know by now; when it comes to Tiger and Phil, there is absolutely no rivalry. None. Zilch. This is one guy (Tiger) who tends to win at a rapid pace, and another guy (Phil) who is arguably the second most talented golfer during the Tiger era. That is it. The only time the two have been anywhere close to battling in a major was the 2009 Masters, when both were so far back of the leaders on Sunday that even incredible front nines by both weren't good enough to get them within smelling distance.
You might argue that the two have butted heads on the golf course lately, going back to the Tour Championship and the HSBC Champions in China. The thing is, these two playing well in the same golf tournament is inevitable at times, because they are both so much better than anyone else.
My problem with the laziness of such a column is, what these two have isn't the definition of a rivalry. A rivalry is guys like Tom Watson and Jack Nicklaus bringing the best out of in each other in major championship venues, like at the 1977 British Open. It isn't one guy losing worse than the other guy.
Say two weeks ago at Augusta, if Tiger had maybe charged in with a 66, and then Phil closed with a stretch of birdies to edge him by one. I'd buy that possibly sparking up a rivalry. But this? Nah, this is just the two best golfers competing against the field.