What was Tiger Woods thinking at the 2006 U.S. Open?
The fact that Sunday at the U.S. Open was as exciting as it was, as filled with second-guessable moves, made it a lot easier for everyone who cares about Tiger Woods.
TV commentators, reporters, columnists, and golf bloggers were free to banter about Geoff Ogilvy’s unlikely victory, Phil Mickelson’s meltdown on the final two holes or Colin Montgomerie’s errant approach shot on 18. Thankfully, no one at Winged Foot had to think about Tiger’s colossal failure. No one had to think about what the guy must have been going through playing his first competitive golf since his dad died.
It was easier that way. Kind of like how well wishers at a funeral will mill around afterwards discussing the new tires they need or which weed killer works best in their garden. Any topic at all but the one on everyone’s mind.
Now, with the dust clear. Maybe it’s time to ask the questions, though. Where is Tiger’s head these days? What will losing his father do to Tiger’s epic mental focus and toughness.
No one expected the kind of bungling we saw on Thursday and Friday. He reportedly had some great practice rounds leading up to the Open but when they raised the curtain, he lost it.
How much of that was simple rust? How much was the result of Tiger’s mind being elsewhere? I am wondering too if this tells us anything about how he handles stressful situations.
Think about it, most of life’s complications lie ahead of Tiger, not behind. I mean, he got married and he lost one parent, that’s it. With any luck it’ll be many many years before his mother or in-laws have any health complications. And I pray any children he and Elin bear will be in perfect health and never cause any worry. And hopefully his marriage and business matters will remain problem free.
Life rarely works out perfectly, however, even for the most charmed individuals. There are ups and downs for all of us. How will Tiger handle the downs still to come?
Jack Nicklaus’ record of 18 major victories looks even more remarkable of late. And if Thursday and Friday at Winged Foot were any indication, it might be more safe than we once thought.
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Woods has many solid tournaments ahead of him. Don't count him out for the last two majors of 2006.
I mean, if he misses the cut in the British Open, then maybe we can raise these points a little better.
Say? You ever play shortstop? And you know, our softball team could use a solid cleanup hitter too! We've got a budget for new gear if you don't have a glove and spikes.