June 16, 2008


A Miracle Putt: Tiger Woods Ties U.S. Open on 18th; Playoff Is Today (TONY DEAR, June 16, 2008, NY Sun)

[A]s he did on Thursday and again Saturday, he hacked it up the left side of the first hole, chopping and clubbing his way through the trees and out of the rough on his way to an ugly double-bogey six, his third of the week.

Then came one or two surprising club choices on the homeward nine. After a fine drive at the 13th that left him 291 yards to the hole with a downhill lie, the obvious play was a safe layup to the bottom of the hill and a relatively straightforward pitch to the flag. But he followed playing partner Lee Westwood into the ice-plant on the left, hitting a wild hook with a 3-wood — a very difficult shot to hit, and, on this occasion, absolutely not what he wanted.

Then, after going for it on the 13th, he decided to lay up off the tee at the short Par 4 14th even though, at 267 yards, he could have got there with his 5-wood. At the 15th, having driven well right off the tee, he attempted to blast it over the tree in front of him and land it softly on the green, but he left the blade well open and it faded weakly into the rough short and right of the green. At the 18th, he hit a poor lay-up out of the fairway bunker on the right that failed to find the fairway. How often do Tiger lay-ups miss the fairway? Heck, how often does Tiger lay up? [...]

So today, after more ice packs and painkillers, Woods will begin as hot favorite again. He will then double-bogey the 1st hole and the game will be on. Rocco will chat to everyone he sees and try to control the 20-yard hook that you'd think would put him in too much trouble to contend at a U.S. Open, but which he has stifled just enough to get him this far.

If he wins he'll become the oldest U.S. Open champion in history, and the first man to deny Woods a major when leading after 54 holes. If Woods wins, no one will be in the least surprised, least of all, one suspects, Rocco Mediate.

Tiger Woods is the true master of suspense: He plays on a different level, letting the story build and holding everyone's attention, even though the inevitable almost always occurs. He did it again to perfection to force playoff at U.S. Open. (Bill Dwyre, June 16, 2008, LA times)

Contrary to popular opinion, Tiger Woods is not a golfer. He is a leading character in an Agatha Christie mystery novel.

Need a story line to captivate and mesmerize? Get Tiger.

Want the story to have drama, action and a mystical hero? Get Tiger.

Want a guarantee that the buildup won't get to a peak and suddenly fall flat? Get Tiger and put a putter in his hands.

On the 72nd hole of the United States Open on Sunday, Tiger Woods did what he almost always does. He came through in the clutch. He gave us goose bumps. He made us wonder how anybody can succeed so often at such a high level in such an imperfect game.

We don't applaud him now as much as we shake our heads in amazement. We think he is flesh and bones like we are, but we are becoming less and less certain.

Zemanta Pixie
Posted by Orrin Judd at June 16, 2008 8:00 AM

Tiger should have won going away. Instead, during the last round, he managed the course like Lefty on one of his bad days. No. 18 should have been an easy birdie, but he couldn't keep it in the fairway. His miracle putts on Saturday were amazing, but the last one on Sunday shouldn't have been needed.

Posted by: JimBobElrode at June 16, 2008 8:27 AM