Wednesday, September 14, 2011
Insanity is Still Talking about Tiger's Race for 18
There are moments when you realize that no matter what happens in the golf world, Tiger Woods will always be the story. The last few weeks have been that. Tiger isn't playing in the FedEx Cup, a host of other great players are trying to make an even bigger name for themselves, but Tiger is still the obvious focus. If it isn't him announcing that he's going to play in a Fall Series event, it's new that he might not qualify for this or his ranking will drop to that.
But the strangest thing of them all is the abundance of stories focusing on Tiger's return to greatness, and how many famous players are stepping up and saying he won't ever get back to where he was. It's the definition of obvious assessments, like a tennis expert spending 10 minutes on air telling us that they don't think Roger Federer is still the best player in tennis, when anyone with the smallest scope on the fuzzy ball knows he isn't what he once was.
Just in the last week alone, Nick Faldo, Nick Price and Luke Donald have mentioned that they don't see Tiger regaining his once-impeccable form, and have noted that they don't see Tiger breaking Jack Nicklaus' record of 18 major championship wins, something that seems almost too obvious to chat about these days.
When the bad things started hitting Woods, I was one of the first dudes up on the soapbox. I didn't like how Tiger handled anything, was worried about his future in the game and in life, and was nervous that such a blow to what was once the strongest athlete we have ever seen might be too much for him.
People ask me what happened to Tiger all the time, and I always tell them that for the first time in his life, he's been defeated. He's been beat on the golf course, in life, by the media, and more importantly, by society. Tiger isn't the great man he was to a lot of people that once thought he was unbeatable, and we sit here and chat about his faults all the time now. Five years ago? Thinking about "Tiger" and "fault" in the same sentence would have been as likely as "Michael Bay" and "silent film."
But at least once a week now, we get a person of interest in the golf world speaking on Tiger and his future. My take? Who knows. In 2008 I sure didn't see this coming, and every year I expect him to bounce back. He isn't, and it just confuses me all the more.
Of course Tiger isn't on pace to break Jack's record these days. That's obvious. This is a guy that can barely finish in the top-10 anymore, so thinking he has a chance at the golf equivalent of 56 hits is miles away. I just don't understand why people are still getting these questions, and I'm sure Tiger is as well.