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61 comments

Comment from: mamboking [Visitor]
I would argue the opposite. He loses in four ball because his partners normally doze off knowing he is the best in the world, and leave it to Tiger to score birdie or better on every hole.
08/22/06 @ 14:32
Comment from: Shanks [Member] Email
Perhaps they would do that at a critical juncture in the match, expecting another "Tiger Moment", but I don't think that's the case. His partners have tended to play just like his opponents do in the final group of a Major on Sunday - withering under the intensity of his spotlight.
08/22/06 @ 14:43
Comment from: anonymous [Visitor]
Given that you mentioned, in passing, that Tiger is amazing, what truely is amazing to me is that instead of focusing in on what he has brought to the world of golf, you like so many others, try to focus in on something negative about him - When would Phil or Sergio, or Ernie stop or demolish him?

I remember the years when watching golf for me was watching the beautiful greens, and I did so partially because there was nothing else to view on TV. No excitement. Can you imagine sitting a small child in front of the TV to watch golf years ago? Just try to imagine that. Today children and women like myself are glued to the screen when he is in the game. He brings such excitement to the game. At the tournaments everyone wants to know what field Tiger is playing, babies call out to him as he passes by. I know when Tiger is not in the game or is playing not up to Tiger-standard by just listening to the announcers, they try to find something exciting to report, but they sound somewhat bored.

What amazes me is no matter what he does, there are faultfinders. I believe that if he could win with one hand tied behind his back, there would be some who would say: "Yeah, but we have never seen him do it with the other hand tied behind his back. There is something wrong with his game." If he wins, "oh its because he intimidates"; if he loses, "oh how he is in a slump." He is only human, not invincible, not a god, enjoy him. This too is a passing phenomenon, something I am glad I saw, and interesting for you to report. Please try to imagine reporting golf minus Tiger, how many would read your columns, your blogs with excitement? Now I run home to watch golf or tape it because I enjoy it. That is amazing.





08/22/06 @ 14:49
Comment from: Shanks [Member] Email
Geez, anonymous, what kind of new age pablum is that you are puking up there? Your response is the worst kind of drivel posted on these spaces. If you think what I have written is incorrect, then by all means straighten me out with an intelligent response. But if all you can say is how dare anyone be a "faultfinder", please spare us. This space is about golf. And as Bob Rotella says, "Golf is not a game of perfect." That is what makes it so interesting.

It is obvious from that Tiger Fan Club stuff you posted that you didn't really understand what I said AND you are not a fan of golf. Because I did not criticize Woods. I pointed out 2 anomalies in his record to date. But I have some news for you - the game was interesting before Tiger jumped on the stage. And if Tiger were to go away tomorrow, the game would still be interesting. At least for us golf fans.
08/22/06 @ 15:54
Comment from: TIGER WOODS FAN! (sorry) [Visitor]
That's the point, I'm not a GOLF FAN! I am however a BIG Tiger Woods fan
08/22/06 @ 17:00
Comment from: Ron Mon [Member] Email
The game was not marketed as well before Tiger, sexy was not associated as much (think Palmer with a butt hanging out of his mouth) with golf as it is now, and Shanks didn't get as angry, using words like 'pablum,' as he did today. Tiger Woods Fan (nee Anonymous) is not deserving of your venom, socket-man.
08/22/06 @ 17:12
Comment from: Merrin [Visitor]
"And if Tiger were to go away tomorrow, the game would still be interesting. At least for us golf fans."--Shanks

If Im being honest-not to me. I'm young & female, I never saw anyone out there who prompted me to actually sit down & watch 4 full days of golf, besides Tiger.
Now I know that puts me in the role of casual golf fans in many seasoned eyes, but there are many more like me out there.

Anon was wrong, or being overly sensitive, in itimating that we cant have DISCUSSION about Tiger's game aside from the acknowledgements of his dominance. Everyone's got some achilles heel.

However, I agree with her about many in the media, and fans, who now insinuate Tiger's victories are somehow cheapened because he's not playing in Nicklaus' era with many rivals. Or that, as Dan Patrick said, he's not a great athlete, he's just IN SHAPE in a sport others aren't, so he may not be as good as he SEEMS.

To that I say-perhaps the others ARE playing up to their abilites, if they WERE in Nicklaus' era they might be just as competitive as his rivals. Perhaps Tigers game is simply honed to a very high level now.

This is a growing perception that rankles, but I think Anononymous chose the wrong instant to bring it up, because it doesnt seem relevant for this article.
08/22/06 @ 19:25
Comment from: BillD [Visitor]
Good to see somone write what I've been thinking lately. Tiger is 12 - 0 with the lead in Majors and 0 - everything without it. That has to mean something, just what that is, time will tell. A great champion comes from behid to win and Tiger hasen't in a Major, and he has been behind. Still, he's amazing.
08/22/06 @ 22:18
Comment from: 40 handicap [Visitor]
When are we going to start drug testing for golf? Everyone else does it.
08/22/06 @ 22:39
Comment from: Ron Mon [Member] Email
"Tiger is 12 - 0 with the lead in Majors and 0 - everything without it. That has to mean something, just what that is, time will tell."

What it means is, he is better under the gun than Nicklaus, who had a host of 2nd and 3rd place finishes in majors. That's it, case closed.
08/22/06 @ 23:04
Comment from: Shanks [Member] Email
Merrin, Dan Patrick's comment is ridiculous. Tiger is a terrific athelete but that's a different discussion. Tiger has rivals off & on, but is more dominant than Nicklaus was. Nicklaus went through 3 generations of rivals. When he came on the scene, there was Arnold Palmer & Billy Casper in the 60s. Then the 70s brought Lee Trevino, Johnny Miller & Tom Watson. And as he slipped past 40 years old in the 80s Nicklaus became the challenger, to young lions like Seve Ballesteros.

But I'm going to disagree with Ron Mon about Nicklaus under the gun. (RM might be just a little too young to remember the great man.) He was able to win from behind many times in Majors (and Tiger has yet to do that). Off the top of my head I can name the '75 Masters where he clipped Johnny Miller and Tom Weiskopf and the '86 Masters where he beat Seve Ballesteros and Greg Norman - from behind. Nicklaus did not lose from the lead very often, but he did a few times. Most memorably he lost the Open to Tom Watson at Turnberry in '77 starting tied for the lead. Jack shot 66 in the final round to Watsons 65 and they finished 10 shots ahead of 3rd place. THAT level of play was amazing to witness.

Almost all of Nickalus' 2nd and 3rd place finishes did not come from him blowing a lead. Usually he would make a Sunday charge up the leaderboard. Sometimes he pulled it off, sometimes he just got close. You could almost see the leaders crumbling under the pressure they knew Nicklaus would bring - under the gun. I am very surprised that Tiger hasn't managed to do that yet.

08/23/06 @ 08:09
Comment from: I could be wrong but... [Visitor]
I know it has been ten years that Woods has been on the scene, but I think it is too early to question why he hasent won from behind. He has had three totally diferent swings in his first ten years on tour. I am a little young to remember Nicklaus in his prime, but I am a pretty big golf fan. And I have never heard anything about Nicklaus changing his swing mechanics. When Nicklaus came from behind or just didn't pull off his charge it was because he didn't have his "A" game but was still dominant enough to win without it. When Tiger doesn't have his "A" game it seems to be because he is in the middle of overhauling his swing. I think if Tiger decides to keep this swing for the next five or ten years we will see him come from behind numerous times, or we won't and we will have every reason to have this discussion. But for now I think we have to wait for him to have his "B" or "C" game just because he is a little off and not because he is rebuilding his swing.
08/23/06 @ 11:19
Comment from: Shanks [Member] Email
Nicklaus was always tinkering with his swing in the weeks before a Major. He sometimes went through long periods where he didn't play to his standards. Of course, he started his family early, and was a devoted family man. Lee Trevino would send Barbara Nickalus a dozen roses if he won a tournament when Jack wasn't playing - for keeping him at home. Then around age 30 he became heavily involed in building courses, in addition to other business dealings. That also took a lot of time away from serious practice. I think it was Chi Chi Rodriquez who once said "Jack's a legend in his spare time."
08/23/06 @ 13:26
Comment from: PGA Punter [Member] Email
Hi Shanks. A terrific analysis and a solid argument. I would only diverge on the Ryder Cup. I wonder how far back you were looking, because didn't Tiger go down to Constantino Rocca in the '97 Ryder singles? And isn't the European ploy often to sacrifice a "lamb" to Tiger in the singles - Paul Casey, Andrew Coltart - making him look rather better than he should? My point is I think Tiger is actually unsuited to the one-day shootemup cup format. As we have seen so amply demonstrated in his last four outings, Tiger's big trick is relentlessly to grind down the opposition over four days, as often as not after a lacklustre opening.
08/23/06 @ 16:12
Comment from: Ghet Rheel [Visitor]
This just in... Jessica Alba's hair has split-ends!
Thought that was relevent since we're splitting hairs to find fault with media icons.
08/23/06 @ 17:21
Comment from: Booger [Visitor]
Comment from: Ron Mon [Member]

What it means is, he is better under the gun than Nicklaus, who had a host of 2nd and 3rd place finishes in majors. That's it, case closed.

Now you know why I call you Ron Monkey. As Shanks mentions, I guess you never heard of the "dual in the sun"? If you are tied for the lead, shoot a 68 and win by five strokes like Tiger did on Sunday, it's more about his weak competition than his greatness.

The biggest hole in his resume is one he can't fill. He never matched the record of Bobby Jones in his twenties.
So how is he the "greatest ever"? He may prove to be the most prolific due to longevity, which is Nicklaus' biggest claim to fame.
08/23/06 @ 17:35
Comment from: Ghet Rheel [Visitor]
Bobby Jones was the best country club amateur of his day. His Ivy League game would not stand up against today's competition. The national "player pool" he competed against was less than 1% the size of today's number of competitive golfers. He'd have about the same chance against today's players as Harvard's football team would have in Division I football. BTW, Harvard was dominant in college football back in the 1920's too.
08/23/06 @ 19:52
Comment from: Booger [Visitor]
That's not the issue, Mr. Rheel. Let's stick to raw numbers: 4 US Opens and 3 British Opens at the age of 28. Woods failed to accomplish that, as has everyone else.

I personally consider Harry Vardon, Walter Hagen, Gene Sarazen and Tommy Armour to be serious competition.

08/23/06 @ 22:12
Comment from: Ghet Rheel [Visitor]
Well, it certainly is the issue. In the twenties golf was a game for country clubbers and occasionally their caddies. Eliminate 99% of all competition, and a pretty good golfer can rack up phenomenel stats. Vardon, Hagen, etc. were hot stuff in their day, but they probably couldn't get through Q-school today.
08/23/06 @ 22:53
Comment from: Shanks [Member] Email
PGA Punter, the singles matches at the Ryder Cup are done by blind draw, unlike the Presidents Cup where the captains alternate picks, trying to get some of the matches they want, so there really is no sacrificial lamb, per se. But I agree 100% that Tiger is more susceptible in singles because it is only one round and anything can happen. I mean, Brian Barnes beat Jack Nicklaus TWICE in singles.

As far as losing to Rocca in '97, a 21 year-old Tiger was not playing well then, having actually missed a cut in his previous tournament, and playing on a course that did not set up for his strengths.

The way Tiger is playing now, it's hard to imagine anyone beating him head-to-head. Sergio Garcia and "Cool Hand" Luke Donald, the 2 highest ranked Euros, both withered under Tiger's intensity while playing head-to-head with him in the final round of the last 2 Major Championships.
08/24/06 @ 08:04
Comment from: Shanks [Member] Email
Bobby Jones was the most dominant golfer EVER. Who was in the field and the quality of the game is all relative. He beat the best in the world on a regular basis. And don't forget that back in the '20's and '30's all of the best golfers did not turn pro, so don't turn your nose up at those amateur wins either.
08/24/06 @ 08:21
Comment from: Ghet Rheel [Visitor]
Sorry Shanks, just can't seem to work up a case of "the vapors" over Bobby Jones. He was the dominant amateur in a microscopic field of golfers in comparison to today's numbers. He won seven true "majors" in a decade - the rest were amateur competitions. How many US and British Amateurs would Woods have won in the past 10 years.

Hagen smoked Jones in their 1926 72 hole competition billed as "The World Championship of Golf" (12 & 11). Hagen won 5 PGA Championships and 4 British Opens during the '20's, so Jones didn't dominate Hagen.

Jones was the dominant amateur player among the Ivy League elite and effete - the Old Guard country club crowd. Otherwise, he was just a big fish in a very small pond; if compared to today's vastly superior (and far, far larger) talent pool.
08/24/06 @ 13:26
Comment from: Shanks [Member] Email
Sir Walter was a great player, no doubt. Golf's first superstar. And fun to be with, too. But let me educate you about how he stacked up to Bobby Jones. He was the next best player. And we'll forget the fact that the Haig was a professional and played year round while Jones typically played about 80 rounds per year. Jones played some other tournaments as his tune-up for the Majors. (Nicklaus, and now Tiger, used this as their model.)

Walter Hagen NEVER won any US Open or British Open in which Bobby Jones played. Jones won FIVE. They both played in 14 of the same Major Championships. Jones finished higher in 11 of those events. And if you discount the 3 prior to Jones 21st birthday, Hagen finished better than Jones a grand total of 1 time. One.

And, please, don't crow about the PGA Championships. Jones was not eligible. If he was, the evidence says he'd have won most of those too.
08/24/06 @ 14:41
Comment from: Shanks [Member] Email
One more nugget about Nicklaus: he came from behind (starting the final round) to win 8 of his 18 majors. Of course, he had many crush-their-spirit pull-away victories too, like what Tiger did at the PGA.
08/24/06 @ 15:17
Comment from: mamboking [Visitor]
I fail to see how coming from behind to win a major is such an accomplishment that it deserves to be named as a hole in Tiger Woods resume. What counts are Ws whether you came from behind or were at the front after the third round.
08/24/06 @ 16:08
Comment from: Ghet Rheel [Visitor]
Shanks

By the same token, Hagen wasn't eligible for the British and US Amateurs. Hagen beat Jones soundly in their highly-publicized one-on-one match - Jones was in his prime, and hard-drinking Hagen was at the end of his career.

There are now more PGA professionals (28,000+) then there were golfers (5,000 to 10,000), when Hagen and Jones were mastering the game.

Jones was the king of the amateurs in the 1920's, but wouldn't get through Q-School today - that's my opinion. Today, Jones would be competing against a pool of tens of thousands of first-rate players... In the 1920's there were a few hundred at most.


08/24/06 @ 17:44
Comment from: Booger [Visitor]
How did you acquire the opinion that Bobby Jones could not get through Q-school today? That statement doesn't seem to carry much water.

Shanks - you really know your golf history. Can you tutor Ron Monkey?
08/24/06 @ 21:56
Comment from: Ghet Rheel [Visitor]
A reasonably fair way to judge the quality of the talent pool circa 1928 is to look at Olympic Gold Medal performances of the day (1928 Olympic Games), versus current top high school talent -

1928 Olympic Gold Medal Winners:
High Jump- 6' 4 1/2"
100 meters- 10.8
Shot Put- 52'
Discus- 155'

Current U.S. High School Records:
High Jump- 7' 7"
100 meters- 10.13
Shot Put- 81' 3"
Discus- 234' 3"

There are more than a thousand times more people competing in organized athletics today (golf included), than in the 1920's.
A vastly larger talent pool = vastly superior performances... Statistics 101


08/25/06 @ 00:53
Comment from: Ghet Rheel [Visitor]
Have seen conflicting accounts on the weights of discus and shot used '28 Olympics - one says weights were same as current high school specs - 1.6k & 12 lbs. Another account says 2k and 16 lbs were used in 1928. The current Men's Open World Record:

16 lb. Shot Put- 75' 10 1/4"
2 kilo Discus- 243' 1/2"
08/25/06 @ 01:41
Comment from: Jake [Visitor]
As we have seen so amply demonstrated in his last four outings, Tiger's big trick is relentlessly to grind down the opposition over four days, as often as not after a lacklustre opening.
---------------------------

He's setting his prey up for the kill. Let them all get worked up and overconcentrate thursday and friday, and then Tiger makes his run.
08/25/06 @ 02:00
Comment from: Jake [Visitor]
After 40 majors, Jack Nicklaus total score was OVER PAR. Tiger Woods after 40 majors is currently 119 UNDER par.
08/25/06 @ 02:02
Comment from: Shanks [Member] Email
Ghet Reel, get real. You're going to point at one exhibition match and say that Hagen was better? Please. (I guess you'll say that Nick O'Hern is better than Tiger because he beat him in the Match Play a couple of years ago.) How is it that Hagen never won a Major that he & Jones were both entered in? Don't give me that washed-up crap either. Hagen was in his late twenties - late thirties throughout Jones' career, only nine years older. Hagen won 4 British Opens in his thirties, although each of those were without Jones in the field. Hagen also won all 5 of those PGAs in his thirties. But head-to-head in Major Championships, it's not even close (see previous post).

I usually don't compare eras, because for many reasons it's all relative. Jones just dominated his time. So did Nicklaus, and now Tiger is doing the same. But to address the bigger & stronger issue, I will say that if little Corey Pavin could be one of the best in the world at times during the past 10 years, I think Jones would've been able to compete today as well.
08/25/06 @ 08:19
Comment from: Shanks [Member] Email
One other thing. Back in the 20s and 30s, not all of the best golfers turned pro. There wasn't a lot of money in it and the job wasn't well thought of. The US & British Amateur had some of the very best golfers in the world playing in them. You really shouldn't dismiss those.
08/25/06 @ 09:04
Comment from: Shanks [Member] Email
Jake, scoring is also relative, having to to with equipment and course set up over the years. Tiger set the Masters scoring record back in 1997. But he's a better golfer now, wouldn't you say? It's just that the course set-up has caught up with equipment improvements - for now.

If you'll notice Nicklaus still has the US Open scoring record of 272 with Tiger. Tiger's was done on a par 72 Pebble Beach, while Nicklaus did his on a par 70 Baltusrol in 1980. That's pretty good while playing 8 less par 5s (and 8 more long par 4s, converted from par 5s) in a tournament. Nicklaus tied the low round in Major Championship history that year - a 63. When Nicklaus won that 1986 Masters, he finished 9 under par - at 46 years old too. Had Nicklaus played back then with todays equipment, he would've surely scored much, much lower.
08/25/06 @ 09:21
Comment from: Ghet Rheel [Visitor]
Don't try to "brush aside" the stunning differences in athletic abilites from the 20's to now. Any regional high school track meet would post results superior to the 1928 Olympic Gold Medal results - this is highly significant. BTW, the Olympics of that were just another elitist "amateur" competition.

As to your Corey Pavin arguement... Pavin, with his skill-set on 6400 yard courses, would have crushed Jones in the 20's.

As to "amateur status" position, c'mon Shanks - You know as well as I do that "Amateurism" in the 20's was a tool used by the Ivy-Leaguers to keep the "Great Unwashed" out of ther toney competitions. Travel was far more expensive than today, and only the rich could afford to go "on the curcuit". If a "less than wealthy" athlete took $5 dollars from a sponsor, he'd be booted (for life) from all "genteel" competition.

Jones was a spoiled (and ill-tempered) little rich kid who dominated the other spoiled little rich kids. The pro game was in it's infancy and purses were tiny ("touring pros" weren't allowed in the clubhouses at most country-club venues, and were often asked to enter the course through the "service" roads).

BTW, I don't contend that Hagen was a better player than Jones in the old days. My contention is that Jones didn't dominate Hagen... that they were about equal with Jones perhaps having a slight edge.

P.S. - I've been unable to find anything on the net regarding Hagen not having Jones in field in the four British Opens Hagen won in the 20's. Can you post a link?
08/25/06 @ 12:50
Comment from: Shanks [Member] Email
Bobby Jones only entered 4 British Opens - 1921, '26, '27 & '30 - and he won the last three. In 1921 at 20 years old, he had his famous temper tantrum and walked off the course - Hagen finished 7th.

They both played in all 11 US Opens from 1920-1930. Hagen never won any of those and finished ahead of Jones in only 2. Jones won four of those and finished 2nd in 4 others.

Case closed.

I don't know what to say about your overt resentment of American society and the golf game in general in the 1920's. But if travel was expensive for amateurs back then, it was also expensive for pros. I'm quite certain that if you took a talent like Jones and gave him modern equipment, he'd be able to make a representative showing on a 6400 yard course. C'mon now.

PS - you can check Hagens Record in wikipedia.
08/25/06 @ 13:16
Comment from: Ghet Rheel [Visitor]
Shanks

Quite right, In my opinion the social politics of the 1920's, particularly the elitist "amateur" athletic movement, was a national embarassment.

Jones was the "poster boy" for that '20's mindset. He was the biggest fish in a teensy little private pond. If he got tossed into the ocean of talent of today's game, he'd vanish off the radar screen.



08/25/06 @ 14:09
Comment from: Shanks [Member] Email
Ceertainly your entitled to your opinions. But my point is this: Jones was a golf prodigy, the dominant force in the game back then whether or not it was pro or Amateur, in the US or abroad. He beat them all many, many times. I think that would translate to today, if he were brought up in a different society under different circumstances. Who knows, today he might eschew the amateur stance and play full time with a trainer, modern techniques and of course, modern equipment. I would not be so quick to dismiss his chances of being relevant today. Certainly he had the intestinal fortitude that seems lacking in so many today.

Besides, because there were so few in the music business back in the 1700's, does that make Mozart any less of a musician? A genius is a genius.
08/25/06 @ 14:54
Comment from: Ghet Rheel [Visitor]
Mozart was a lousy golfer - some genius. I have it on good authority that Haydn gave him 4 a side and never lost - I'll send you the link.
08/25/06 @ 15:28
Comment from: Booger [Visitor]
Ghet Rheel, you sound like a communist.

By the way, Tiger Woods certainly didn't have to work for a living during his development now, did he?
He played in MORE tournaments as an amateur - nationwide - than Jones ever did.

If you are gonna knock the priviledge of Bobby Jones, you better start knocking Earl Woods as well.
08/25/06 @ 15:30
Comment from: Shanks [Member] Email
Don't be too sure about Hadyn. I heard he putted like Salieri.
08/25/06 @ 15:33
Comment from: Scott Walker [Visitor]
Wow, so much to dispute!

Let's start with the inital premise. IF Woods has a hole in his record, the Ryder Cup would be it. How many guys have NEVER even had a lead in a major after 54 holes. If you can get 12, you are the man. After all, he didn't lead every major wire-to-wire. He had to come from behind AT SOME POINT.

Woods is actively trying to change his Ryder Cup record by being a leader. I am covering the Bridgestone this week for USA Network, and in my blog entry (http://www.digitalgolf.tv/community/?itemid=96) I detail some of the steps Woods is taking to provide leadership to the team.

As for the Bobby Jones/Tiger Woods argument, it is foolish to make that kind of determination. You can't compare Babe Ruth to Barry Bonds because the game is so different. Same with Jones and Woods. So, just enjoy Woods. By the time it is over, you will have seen the greatest. If Bobby Jones had access to nutrionists and video and solid core balls...maybe it woud be different.

Of course, then Jones' competitors would have had it, too. I wonder how much he would have had then. See, the arguments are foolish!
08/26/06 @ 14:28
Comment from: Ghet Rheel [Visitor]
Scotty:
"If Bobby Jones had access to nutrionists [sic], and video and solid core balls...maybe it woud [sic] be different."

Nutritionists, video, solid core balls... interesting arguement. Oh, and welcome to the ship of fools!
08/26/06 @ 19:44
Comment from: Ghet Rheel [Visitor]
Scotty

In my response, "arguement" [sic] should read "argument" - Damn!
08/26/06 @ 19:53
Comment from: Shanks [Member] Email
Scotty, you must admit that as great as Tiger is, it is extremely surprising that he has never hunted down & passed a leader in Major tournament. Certainly he has been close to the lead going into Sunday before.

Perhaps, if he is not in the lead, his fellow competitors believe he is vulnerable and then play with more confidence.
08/28/06 @ 07:46
Comment from: Judge Smails [Visitor]
anonymous,

Relax, when you're a famous public figure, critiques of all stripes come with the territory. And this is the case no matter WHO you are.

It is also the very essence of commentary. After all, if all journalists did was sing Woods' praises, commentary would become rather one dimensional, wouldn't it?

Also, it's obvious that you don't realize that what one finds "exciting" is a very personal matter. I, for one, don't find Woods exciting. Believe it or not, it's much more exciting for me when Vijay Singh -- a man who is thought by many to be the embodiment of banality -- is in contention. I also tend to find the Champions Tour to be more exciting than the PGA, which should also come as a shock to you. Why? Well, why may one prefer chocolate over vanilla? We're dealing with emotion-based preferences and matters of taste here.

In that vein, I also found golf to be more exciting when Nicklaus was playing. You, however, have obviously glommed onto Woods, which is your right. But I would bear in mind that there are golf fans -- and then there are Woods fans. You obviously fall into the latter category.

Lastly, the case could be made that Woods renders the game more boring for many, as his dominance can often rob an event of drama. For instance, I recorded the tournament yesterday. When watching it, I found myself fast forwarding through much of the "action" when it appeared as if Woods might run away with it.

I want to see drama. If a tournament is devoid of that quality, the remote is utilized with extreme prejudice.
08/28/06 @ 09:09
Comment from: Ghet Rheel [Visitor]
I think the term "Grand Slam", as applied to golf, did not exist until published in sportswriter O.B. Keeler's book about Jones in 1953. Keeler was a close friend, travel companion, and drinking buddy of Jones.

While Keeler (and perhaps Grantland Rice) considered the four tourneys to be the most important, the pros of the day disagreed as to calling the US and British amateurs "Majors", as pros were obviously not permitted to take part in them. Pros like Tommy Armour, Jock Hutchison, Walter Hagen, and Gene Sarazen were stiff competition for Jones. They were far better than any of the amateur competition, so Jones "wins" in the the US and British amateurs were "Majors" only in the mind of O.B. Keeler.

The term "Grand Slam", for golf, did not exist in 1930, and likely did not exist until Keeler/Rice coined the term in 1953... much to the chagrin of Hagen, Sarazen, Armour, et al.

If Tiger's simultaneous holding of all four Major professional titles can be termed the "Tiger Slam", then Jones' simultaneous holding of two Open titles and two Amateur titles can only fairly be termed as the "Bobby Slam".

08/28/06 @ 13:58
Comment from: Shanks [Member] Email
I believe Jones' feat was called the impregnable quadrilateral in the press.

During the 8 year period that Jones dominated, neither Sarazen or Hagen ever won a Major that Jones participated in. The Squire was Hagen's primary professional competition.
08/28/06 @ 14:43
Comment from: Ghet Rheel [Visitor]
Shanks
"During the 8 year period that Jones dominated, neither Sarazen or Hagen ever won a Major that Jones participated in."

Is there a source you can direct me to that verifies that statement? Can find nothing on the web to that effect. Is there a book or books that have published the entire fields for these events?

08/28/06 @ 15:25
Comment from: Shanks [Member] Email
Wikipedia shows the Major record of Sarazen & Hagen by event by year. I'll assume you know Jones' record.
08/28/06 @ 15:38
Comment from: Ghet Rheel [Visitor]
Have viewed the Wikipedia accounts of Hagen and Sarazen. But I'm not certain anyone knows the record of Bobby Jones as it applies to the full fields in the numerous Opens that players other than Jones won 1923-1930. Nothing in Wikipedia about that.

I'm wondering about the source of the "fact" that, "Sarazen or Hagen [n]ever won a Major that Jones participated in". My hunch is that it came from Grantland Rice or O.B. Keeler.

Rice was best known a "myth-maker". Rice was a charter member of Augusta National and a close friend of Jones and Cliff Richards (Rice is said to have convinced the other charter members of Augusta to let Jones and Richards run the club any way the two saw fit). O.B. Keeler was Jones' closest pal, and is said to have logged 150,000 miles traveling with Jones to tourneys in the US and Europe.

My point is that neither Rice nor Keeler could be considered independent sources, and both were prone to gross exaggeration in their sports columns.
08/28/06 @ 21:28
Comment from: Ghet Rheel [Visitor]
Should read "Cliff Roberts". I'm going to have my agent fire my proofreader tomorrow.

BTW, it was fun to watch Tiger come from behind and beat a strong field with his B-game at the World Championship of Golf, or Bridgestone, or as the locals call it, "the Firestone thingie".
08/28/06 @ 22:51
Comment from: Shanks [Member] Email
GR, since Bobby Jones was an amateur he could only play in the US and British Opens with the pros. He entered the US Open 11 times, every year from 1920-1930 (he was 18 years old in the first). Jones finished 2nd to Sarazen in 1922. Then Jones won 4 of the next 8 and finished 2nd in 3 others during the 1923-1930 stretch.
Partly because of the difficulty of Trans-Atlantic trval in those days, Jones entered the Open Championship just 4 times - in '21, '26, '27 & '30 - winning the last three times he played in it.

Cink looked to have him when Tiger's par putt on the 3rd playoff hole came up short. I'm thinking Tiger might be involved in withcraft ....
08/29/06 @ 08:46
Comment from: Ghet Rheel [Visitor]
Is Keeler's book the only source for Jones' entering the British Open only four times from '21 to '30?

Voodoo? If so, Woods must have also had his B-mojo working as Cink's drive deep into the left-side timber on the second playoff hole careened 30 yards right and miraculously into a perfect fairway lie.

By the way, Keeler's book wasn't Keeler's book at all. Keeler died in '50. Grantland Rice acquired Keeler's note and "compiled" the book That was published in '53.
08/29/06 @ 14:43
Comment from: Shanks [Member] Email
You can google Bobby Jones for his record. One detailed site I found that way was put out by his estate - bobbyjones.com.

Cink getting that bounce was a cosmic make-up for the fan that did the Wilt Chamberlain save on Tiger's teeball in the PGA. That was the most enthusiastic rebound from the gallery since Arnie's heyday .....
08/29/06 @ 14:51
Comment from: Ghet Rheel [Visitor]
Have read the Bobby Jones site. I'll dig a little deeper on the 1920's British Open fields. I realize the stat you quote is widely reported, but I've never seen a source for it. It is too important a stat to leave to Rice's questionable research methods.
08/29/06 @ 15:44
Comment from: Ghet Rheel [Visitor]
Maybe Tiger had his A-game after all...

"Here's a startling checkup on the rest of the "Big Five" from the start of the year: Vijay Singh, Phil Mickelson, Retief Goosen and Ernie Els were a combined 25-over par at the Bridgestone Invitational."
[from press release]
08/29/06 @ 20:32
Comment from: Shanks [Member] Email
Nope. When Tiger has his A game the result a mere formality. With his B-game he has to sweat it out.
08/30/06 @ 07:45
Comment from: Scott Walker [Visitor]
Let me retort (and correct my spelling!):

I do think it is surprising that Woods has never come from behind in a major, especially considering he made his legend coming from behind as both an amateur and a pro. I detail my reasons for his lack of a major comeback here, but to summarize, the difficulty of a major course setup makes it difficult to force the issue. Tiger makes that work for him when he leads, and he can't overcome it when he trails (2005 U.S. Open is a perfect example). It is the reason Nicklaus thought no one could beat him if he played from the fairway all day.

Tiger's "holes", just like his "A" game, are relative. We have seen greatness, and when the master is not at his best sometimes we snicker.

But, the fact that we are debating the small chinks in the armor should show how great the armor is.

08/30/06 @ 12:51
Comment from: Marvin [Visitor]
It's quite difficult to come from behind when you are in front - way in front in Tiger's case. Never has a single individual done so much for a sport.

Golf is a totally different game now to that of the Palmer-Nicklaus era. The number of potential pro golfers in every part of the world has increased enourmously. It is now much more difficult to dominate golf now than it was 30 years ago when it was still a somewhat elitist sport.

I believe that today's also-rans would have been more than competive in the Niclaus era. I also believe that most people think that Tiger is the greatest golfer of all time, even though the polite thing to do is to wait until the records are actually broken.
08/30/06 @ 23:18
Comment from: Ghet Rheel [Visitor]
Scott

Read your account - makes sense.

I think he does uses a similar strategy in normal tour events -

Thursday and Friday he plays safe... He'll take birdies if available, but won't chase them. Goal - Make the cut! Hopefully within five shots (or so) of the lead.

Saturday - Shoot for the flags. If he can grab the lead one out of four tourneys, and hold it on Sunday, he's got the best PGA winning average in the history of the game - 25%.

Sunday - If leading, let the pack shoot for flags to go low - Tiger can usually win playing "damage control". If he's behind on Sunday - he shoots for flags with the rest of the field - he'll pick up a few extra wins living dangerously on day four.

However, most wins are safely in the bag on day three.

08/30/06 @ 23:44

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