Thursday, November 17, 2011
R.I.P., Tiger Woods and Steve Stricker as a Team
Well, consider one of the most dominant teams in recent team play history dead. Tiger Woods and Steve Stricker, who went 5-0-0 the last time the Presidents Cup was played and won two matches at the Ryder Cup is most likely done for 2011.
Why? Because the last two times the duo has been out, they've redefined the term "steamrolled." The last team match at the 2010 Ryder Cup, Tiger and Steve lost 6 & 5, but somehow managed to get beat even worse on Thursday at Royal Melbourne.
How bad? Just the worst team defeat in the history of the event. Yikes.
It isn't really fair to sit here and yell at the two, even though they failed to make a birdie in the alternate shot format and made three bogeys in the loss. Stricker isn't healthy, he's rusty, and it's obvious after the first day that if he wins just a single point for the Americans it will be a huge boost. We saw this at the Solheim Cup with Cristie Kerr and are seeing it now with Stricker; no matter how great a player is, if they aren't healthy, they aren't that much of a help to the team.
Expect Stricker to play his four-ball on Friday, mandatory since all players compete, and then expect him to sit all of Saturday.
Tiger, on the other hand, gets a chance to tee it up with Dustin Johnson. I'm not really saying it's going to be a huge change, but it might help to be out with a guy that has been playing golf and did make a clutch putt on the 18th hole for an important halve on Thursday.
Tiger and Dustin will be bombing it, having some fun with it, and hopefully get Woods back on track. I was wondering which Australian Open Tiger we'd get at the Presidents Cup. For the first two days, he looked like his old self, and then on Saturday the next Tiger. So far, we're getting the guy that shot 75 for no real reason.
I'd like to see old Tiger again on Friday.