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23 comments

Comment from: Ron Mon [Member] Email
Remeber that a lot of guys had been spinning third-shot balls in to the pond, as Tiger did at a Ryder cup early in his career in Spain. He might have decided that the the carved-three was the shot to hit...acuse him of hubris, but not of choking.
04/11/07 @ 16:48
Comment from: Al Meyer [Visitor] Email
tiger woods finished second in a very difficult tournament. he came back from
being 6 or 7 shots behind displaying skill as well as discipline, when other major champiions faded. did he take calculated chances and not execute? yes. did he choke? dont think so. these people who write about golf, have you ever played? have you ever played with any skill? did you take any writing classes?
04/11/07 @ 20:15
Comment from: Ken Niemi [Visitor] Email
Why was Tiger Woods not disqualified from the 2007 Masters for not counting his whiff at the 13th tee on Friday as a stoke? He addressed the ball and did swing through the ball although to the outside of the ball-without reasonable doubt it was a stroke. If a playing partner did that I would assume he took a mulligan. If we were playing for a wager I would kick him in the nuts for cheating. What is your analysis?
04/11/07 @ 21:12
Comment from: Judge Smails [Visitor] Email
Ken,

That struck me as strange as well. Woods has an uncanny ability to stop in the middle of a swing, one he has demonstrated many a time. However, I thought the swing in question was definitely way over the line. Perhaps there's something in the rules about having to have the intention of striking the ball, I don't know. But that would open such things up to too much interpretation.
04/12/07 @ 03:40
Comment from: Judge Smails [Visitor] Email
Shanks,

Sorry, my friend, but you're sorely mistaken here. First of all, in trying to build your case, you're painting the shot as having been tougher than it was. There's no "rough" to speak of at the Masters; what is there is for little more than show and I'm sure Woods had a decent lie. Moreover, the shot was well within his capacity, and he no doubt knew that birdieing the subsequent holes would be a tall order. He had to take advantage of that par five, and the percentages dictated that he should go for the green in two.

I can guarantee you that Woods would tell you in all honesty that, were he to do it over again, he would choose the same shot. Remember, he really didn't miss the green by much; he just over-cut the iron a bit.

You must be at a loss for things to write about.
04/12/07 @ 03:49
Comment from: Ron Mon [Member] Email
To Ken and Judge,
I believe that, when the ball is on the tee (and possibly in other situations), you can intentionally detour the swing and not have to count the stroke. If you clearly attempt to hit the ball and miss, it counts. It´s not akin to the checked-swing rule in baseball at all, where rotation through is the critical factor.
04/12/07 @ 04:17
Comment from: Judge Smails [Visitor] Email
Okay, Ron, that makes sense. I surmised that there was such a standard.
04/12/07 @ 19:44
Comment from: Jim C [Visitor] Email
Making decisions on the golf course has nothing to do with choking. Phil Mickelson finally starting winning Majors when he adopted a less agressive approach, but that is an issue that is quite different from saying he choked earlier in his career.

Really bad shots under pressure might be choking--but if a player sometimnes makes really bad shots in other situations, then that might not be choking. Maybe Lorena Ochoa simply made a bad shot at a bad time and it had nothing to do with choking.
04/12/07 @ 21:52
Comment from: Judge Smails [Visitor] Email
Jm C,

Woods didn't choke, Ochoa did. When you hit a driver extremely fat off a TEE and dump the ball into a water hazard that shouldn't even be in play for a good player, it's a choke of monumental proportions. Mickelson also often chokes.
04/12/07 @ 22:51
Comment from: jaypee [Visitor] Email
A few years ago in an official tournament, standing in front of a large tree, I adressed the ball and started a backswing. I hit the trunk with my shaft and realized I would not bring the club in the right position. I tried to stop and went about 6 inches past the ball. I counted the stroke and chipped out.


Official ruling (of course after the fact it was too late): since I tried to stop, I did not have the intention to strike the ball. I was the sole judge of the intention. It was obvious, like in Tiger's case, that I tried to stop. The stroke should not have been counted. Lesson learned the hard way.


As for Tiger choking: he lays up on 15, makes the birdie (let's say 75% probable) and still looses the tournament. Don't forget he parred the hole. He was right in assuming he had to eagle.
04/13/07 @ 10:13
Comment from: Shanks [Member] Email
Yes, intent is the rule.

Woods did not have to eagle .... he only needed a couple of birdies. If he birdies 15 to draw within one, who knows what would have happened. Jack Nicklaus' greatest strength was to think clearly when others around him did not (choked). Funny that CBS showed that great special of Arnold Palmer birdieing the last 2 holes to win in 1960. Perhaps Woods should have watched.

And that shot wasn't even close to clearing the pond on 15. As soon as they showed him with the long iron in his hand, all of the guys I was watching with agreed that Woods was panicking. So it was no surprise when his ball went in on the right hand side of the pond, about in the middle. Taking into account the false front of the green, it would've needed to travel another 10-15 yards. Had Woods been in the fairway then he would have had a decent chance of putting that one the green. But light as it was, that rough increased the difficulty of the shot tremendously. Sorry, but in this instance, he gagged. That he finished in 2nd place doesn't change that. Masters history is full of 2nd place choking.
04/13/07 @ 10:40
Comment from: 2under [Visitor] Email
Shanks,

Not a choke. No way. The problem wasn't the shot selection, b/c 15 represented the last true birdie oppt'y for him. And the hole wasn't playing as easy as it had in years past, evidenced by its avg score. Laying up doesn't guarantee the birdie.

It was poor execution, plain and simple. Had he executed his shots flawlessly, to that point, I might agree with your assessment, because it would have been a significant departure from the norm. Tiger did struggle, in comparison to himself, in years past. It wasn't effortless like it has been in other majors. And as you mentioned, the rough made the shot harder. It was a poor shot, but it wasn't a choke.

Jim - A poor decision CAN, in fact, be a choke. A bad decision, caused by pressure, can be considered choking.
04/13/07 @ 15:24
Comment from: Shanks [Member] Email
Best chance for Woods, owner of the best all-around short game in the world, to make birdie from that situation was to lay up to the left sie of the fairway and use the length of the green for his pitch. Definitely never a guarantee, but he'll make birdie that way probably 2 chances out of 3. The green is no lock to hit from the fairway when he can get maximum spin. It was an unnecessary gamble.

And while not what you call birdie holes, the pins on 16, 17 & 18 were in their easiest spots to get at all week. He should have known better.
04/13/07 @ 16:04
Comment from: Jimmy Johnson [Visitor] Email
When Tiger pulls these shots off he's the greatest golfer ever. When he misses them, his record still shows him as the greatest golfer ever.
04/13/07 @ 23:43
Comment from: Shanks [Member] Email
No question, JJ. Agreed. But being the greatest ever does not exempt a golfer from criticism. For instance, for most of his career Jack Nicklaus had at best an average short game. You'll never read where the Golden Bear was hitting it poorly but won because he got it up & down a lot. Never happened.

I'll presume that everyone arguing with me here has been to Augusta since they started growing the light rough and planted those trees on the right side of the fairway. Woods had to hit a long iron out of a marginal lie in 2 inch rough around those trees, significantly left to right and carry it halfway into the green to even have a chance of holding that surface, which, almost certainly wouldn't have happened because of the lack of backspin and rock hard condition of the green. So even with a miracle shot, he would likely have been chipping, at best. why wouldn't he trust his own best all-around short game in the world to get that birdie instead of that unbelievably risky shot? And there were still 3 more holes to play after this one.

Woods made a bad decision and that thinking was influenced by the pressure of the moment. I call that choking. Happens to everybody, although less to Woods than anybody else currently playing. But some folks refuse to criticize him. Well, he ain't God. He messed up this time.
04/15/07 @ 12:11
Comment from: 2under [Visitor] Email
Disagree completely.

15 was a "go" hole. No guarantee that he was going to make birdie by laying up. And I think you significantly overstate the "2 out of 3" times he would make birdie by laying up. He has one of the top short games, but not the top.

How much did Johnson win by? 2 strokes, perhaps? And that is with a dumb bogey on 17. So I think it proves that the gamble was necessary.

Calling this a choke is just trying to elicit reaction. It really has no merit or basis in fact.
04/15/07 @ 13:15
Comment from: Shanks [Member] Email
Same shot from the fairway, I'd agree with you. But not from that lie. Even if he pulls it off, that ball had virtually no chance to hold the green. So he'd be chipping or pitching from an awkward place. Why not put it where you want it? as it turned out he was able to get up & down for par. I realize that sounds like hindsight, but I asked the guys I watched with if anyone wanted to bet even money that he wouldn't get his par after dunking the second shot. Couldn't find any takers.

And I can't disagree with you enough on Tiger Woods not having the best all-around short game in the world. The man is a magician. Seve was the best I've ever seen, but Woods is the best playing now - IMO.
04/15/07 @ 13:33
Comment from: Judge Smails [Visitor] Email
Shanks,

He would have most likely been able to hold the green -- he was CUTTING it in. It just seemed as if he over-cut the shot.
04/16/07 @ 12:31
Comment from: Shanks [Member] Email
With a 3 iron, out of the light rough? I seriously doubt it. Just because the ball was spinning sideways, doesn't mean it would hold that ultra firm surface like it had backspin. I understand that this was Tiger Woods and he does some amazing things sometimes. But my personal opinion is that he panicked and tried a shot that had little chance of success.
04/16/07 @ 12:39
Comment from: 2under [Visitor] Email
Two points:

1. The greens were more receptive on Sunday than at any other point during the tournament.

2. Tiger hits the highest, softest long irons of anyone since the Bear.
04/17/07 @ 08:16
Comment from: Shanks [Member] Email
I agree with you on both of those points. As I just said, he is capable of some incredible things. But 2under, as a top player, you know that a 3 iron out of a marginal lie in that light rough will have no backspin. In fact, that shot is precisely why they decided to use this "first cut" at the Masters - to punish the inaccurate drive by not allowing control of the ball into firm and (unbelievably) undulating greens.

I just believe that pressure adversely affected his judgement of the risk/reward.
04/17/07 @ 08:48
Comment from: 2under [Visitor] Email
Shanks,

Are you related to my wife somehow?

She uses the same circuitous strategy you do.

04/18/07 @ 20:40
Comment from: Shanks [Member] Email
Hehehe .....
04/19/07 @ 07:57

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