Tiger Woods at the British Open: a new, different era?
I’m going to keep my driver in the bag. I’m going to be like Tiger.
Who would have ever thought we’d be saying “course management” and “Tiger Woods” in the same sentence. The long-ball monster turning into a Punch and Judy singles hitter?
The guy keeps the big stick in the holster and still wins the British Open, nearly going away. Of course, the course called for a little restraint and with Woods spraying his driver lately, it was a smart move. The fact he could take away one of his main strengths and still dominate the field says a lot about his greatness, and the distance between him and the rest of the pack.
Still, you have to wonder if Hoylake was a legitimate, major venue. For my money, I don’t think it was. It doesn’t have length, it doesn’t have the punishing rough, and for this tournament anyway, it didn’t have wind. When you have to depend on Mother Nature to provide a test for the world’s best, sorry, it isn’t enough. This was a gamble that failed.
Still, it will be remembered for Woods’ incredible ball-striking and mental toughness.
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The course didn't take the driver out of everyone else's hands. I saw bomber Ernie Els use driver a few times. Chris DiMarco used it all the time.
Tiger just made a strategic choice. He also proved he is the most complete player the game has ever known. That includes his mind.
I wonder what Phil Mickelson would be thinking with a 2 shot lead on the 18th hole with OB on the right?
The real story, though, was Tiger's humanity. That was as good a moment as we have seen in some time.
What Tiger is, is a chameleon. You won't see the same strategy at Medinah or Pinehurst, as they would never get dry enough to run a four-iron 260, or a two-iron 300. If you find yourself on a burned-out course, go for the long-running iron off the tee and have a blast. Just don't try to spin it into the greens. They won't be as receptive as the ones at Hoylake.
Hoylake isn't the hardest course ever. But that doesn't mean it isn't a test. Heck, the -19 of Woods at St. Andrews still stands, it was not broken at Hoylake. Are we to take all courses shorter than Augusta as not worthy of a test of the world's best?
Tiger said you couldn't hit a sand wedge into some of the greens and keep it on!! Mr. 14 handicapper who plays 20 to 25 times a year.
No rough? Receptive greens? What were you watching. Tigers only bogey today came when he landed a long iron at the front of the green on 12 and it ran off the back! The pros would rather play the over-wetted receptive fairways and greens than hard brown fairways where you watch your ball rolls endlessly only to be swallowed by te valley of death . . . the pot-bunker.
Folks! don't get bent out of shape with these guys comments. They clearly don't know what they are talking about.
Over and out!
On the other hand, I have to stop and wonder why The R&A reintroduced Hoylake back into the Open rota, because although it is a very high quality course, a more difficult course should've been selected.
My reasoning for this argument is that Hoylake is now used for such tournaments as The Boys' Championship (ran by The R&A), so doesn't seem entirely worthy of holding another Open until its length is increased.
So Alex, although I usually agree with what you say, please don't talk with the attitude that links golf is outdated and that Americans now find it too easy.
All I am standing for is that I disagree with the notion that the course was easy. The course rewarded creativity and ball striking. It rewarded well hit target shots and penalized the "bombing it down there" and dealing with the consequences that may arise attitude that many US golfers have adopted. Chris DiMarco hit a lot of 3 woods too. How many times did you see Sergio hit a wedge from the rough and Tiger hit a 3 or 4 iron from 200+ yards, and Sergio putted first on the green.
For those complaining of the lack of bad weather. I strongly believe that it brings too much luck into the game. Say the weather turned ugly after 2:00 pm and the last 4 or 5 groups got the brunt of it. Hitting dbls and triples. So an Adam Scott or Ben Crane who went out earlier winds up winning. Would that be your idea of the ultimate Open where the best golfer of the day won. I do admit luck is part of the game but too much would take away from it. When Ben Curtis won the open, he was hands down the best golfer of the day. The fact that you are a journey-man golfer doesn't mean you can never have that perfect game by your standards.
Judging from some of the inane statements, are you guys serious golfers?
Add 30,000 spectators plus, difficult pin placements, whatever other conditons (dry and fast greens or narrow fairways, deep roughs, funny bunkers), and any other element that makes it a PGA quality course (links or otherwise) and try shooting par or even below par for four rounds and then, declare the course easy.
Try doing it week in week out, season after season, major after major and when you can win 10 majors and be the number one in the world, then declare the course easy.
Does Tiger declare any course easy? even if he's won by double digits?
All I am standing for is that I disagree with the notion that the course was easy. The course rewarded creativity and ball striking. It rewarded well hit target shots and penalized the "bombing it down there" and dealing with the consequences that may arise attitude that many US golfers have adopted. Chris DiMarco hit a lot of 3 woods too. How many times did you see Sergio hit a wedge from the rough and Tiger hit a 3 or 4 iron from 200+ yards, and Sergio putted first on the green."
I agree, it wasn't easy as such, but it wasn't massively hard for the pros. For the average golfer, it would be horrible. But for the pros it was one of the easier courses on the Open rota, but that doesn't mean it should not be there.
The fact is, Alex, I don't see your problem. In your view, you would want to build a golf course that no one could break 100 on. Would that be good? No. Would it be a test? Probably. Just because the course was not the hardest of all time doesn't mean it's easy.
doesn't mean it's easy or not worthy of holding a major championship.
MW: Can't you see that I am playing with my Barbi Dolls!
Alex: Michelle, did you watch Tiger on Sunday?
MW: Tiger who?
Alex: Well, Tiger Woods, the number 1 player in the world.
MW: No, I didn't have time to watch someone that wasn't as good as me when they were 16 years old. After all, I am a "golf phenom" you know.
Alex: Well, Michelle, since he is considered the greatest closer in golfing history, I thought you may have wanted to learn how to win on a Sunday afternoon.
MW: What do you mean by "closer"...you mean closest to the pin?? Besides, I am a awesome golfer who only plays to have fun, not to win any tournaments. Really Alex, you just don't have a clue about who I am and what my goals are...get a life!
Alex: Gulp...uh...good luck Michelle.
But does that make the golf course not worthy? Tiger scored -18 at Augusta in 1997. Is that not a test of golf?
Anyway, I do realise that. But the winning score is still regulary -5/-6. Not Winged Foot is it? And it didn't hold Tiger and Dimarco in 2005 did it? -12 was the winning total.
What I don't understand is why the golf course has to hard. What does it do? Test the golfers? Possibly. But mostly hard golf courses breed forgettable championships. Occassionally, they don't. But often they do. The US Open at Winged Foot will be remembered for what? Tiger missing the cut probably. What will the Open championship at Hoylake be remembered for.
I don't see the obession with "testing the golfers". I think it is better to see the great golfers of my generation play against each other, rather than battle kneee high rough, unfair greens and winds of 50 mph. It makes the golf more exciting. I don't get joy out of a golfer hitting a double bogey. I want to see pars, birdies, and occassionally eagles, with bogeys thrown in. This is why watch the golf; it is surely the golfers against each other, not some hackfest where the person who doesn't double the last hole wins.
What is wrong with seeing birdies, and eagles? You say it doesn't challenge the players, but that's nonsense. It challenges them in a different way. Instead of attempting not to double bogey they have to attempt to birdie. It makes a more exciting test of golf, as well as still a test. Golf isn't a test only against par. If you shoot a 56 and the other guy shoots a 55 you don't win. That's the challenge.
Ask me if I want to watch the US Open at Winged Foot or the Open at Hoylake, and I would choose the Open without question. It was better for so many reasons.
Why does that make Hoylake a bad choice? What is the problem with seeing some low scoring? I just don't see the issue.
Why though? I see them as a chance for someone to come from behind and make eagle, birdie, or perhaps eagle, eagle. That would be exiciting. Which watching people double bogey is not.
You haven't answered my question on two counts:
Augusta's winning score is often less than your supposed "ideal" scoring is. Is that a poor test?
Secondly you have not replied about what the issue of scoring is in regards to challenge. It is surely a challenge of being the best golfer, i. e. one that beats the others with their play, not a golfer who played alright golf but didn't double bogey all that often. Double bogeys are boring, eagles are exiciting as far as I am concerned.
Frasier, I also like to see birdies and eagles: birdies when they are hard-earned, and eagles when they are rare. On 16 at one stretch on Saturday, I watched (on TV) five groups putt. Of the ten golfers, seven had birdies and there was one eagle. The ten players scored an average of 4.1 shots on the hole. You are entitled to your opinion, just as I am entitled to mine. And my opinion is that 16 simply was not a legitimate par five. The same could be said for 18. Of course, the lowest score still won, but the question is, was it a real challenge for the world's best?"
You miss my point. It was a challenge because the golfers are against each other. Not just against the course. That's the challenge of golf. Why does the course have to be massively hard? What does it prove? Hard courses often breed boring championships. Who will remember Winged Foot in 2006? Hardly anyone. Who will remember Hoylake in 2006? I dare say more people. It's the players against each other, not them against the course. You still haven't said why a hard course is somehow better; it's an illusion that they "test" the players more than an easier course. They test the players to get birdies and eagles, rather than testing them to par as such. You have to score a good round. So how is that not a test? I just don't understand your logic in saying that somehow a really hard course challenges the players more than an easier course. In a sense it's true. But in a better sense it is not, in that the players are against each other. That is what golf is about. Not watching someone hack it around to par and then winning. Generally that's boring. Just because a course doesn't challenge a player to par doesn't mean it isn't a good major championship venue. If it was Augusta would be off the list. As would St. Andrews.
"My answer is that it was not. In 2005 at the Masters', Woods and DiMarco tied at -12. Both played exemplary golf. The next finisher was at -5. And -12 is a far cry from -18. "
Far cry? It's six shots over four rounds. And you said the best test was a course where "par is excellent". That would be twelve shots off winning. Par wasn't excellent at all; merely adequete.
Not really. It is all of them against each other, not just one player against another, thus it is a perfectly reasonable stance to have about strokeplay. The fact is the course is there to challenge them as well; as I say, instead of trying to make par they try to make birdies. The fact is that it isn't my take that they are playing against each other. It's a fact. If you shoot -20 and another player shoots -21, you lose. It's that simple.
"Number of strokes wins the tournament, not number of holes better than an opponent. To show how easy the par fives were playing at Hoylake, Carl Pettersson played the par five's for the four rounds in 16 under par, an average of four, not five shots per hole. One Welsh golfer made two eagles and five birdies on the par fives on Thursday and Friday and still MISSED THE CUT! He was nine under par on the par five's in TWO rounds and didn't make it to the weekend. The course was simply no challenge for the big boys. Now, Frasier, if you like that sort of golf, have at it. You obviously are overjoyed with everything about Hoylake and the Open. As for me, I'd like something more rigorous, especially in a major."
Tiger was -13 under on the par fives at Augusta in 1997. You obviously aren't a fan of the Masters, then? You have not addressed my questions on Augusta. Is that not a good test of golf?
Another thing you haven't addressed is the statement I have made twice already; hard golf courses generally produce boring, uninteresting championships. Be honest, would you rather have watched the US Open at Winged Foot this year, or the Open at Hoylake? Hoylake was the better event, certainly in my view.
If everyone took your view to golf the only golf courses left would be those like Winged Foot and a few others. Augusta would have to go, as would St. Andrews. To be honest, I think these courses produce fantastic championships. That's just me of course.
Frasier, No, Augusta National would definitely not have to go. The committee did some further tweaking of the course for this year's Masters'. The result was that Phil could only go 7 under, and Woods and Retief only -4. But,if lows scores and easy birdies and several eagles per round are what float your boat, by all means, enjoy yourself. Frasier, I could never compete with you on length of posts. I'm out of here. "
And yet for years it has consitantly had scores lower than your ideal score. In other words, your ideal scores don't count on American courses, only British ones. What about Pebble Beach and others? Would they go? And sorry if you felt offended in any way by my arguing, it's just I could not, and cannot, see this seeming obsession that every course has to be long, have deep rough, and have masses of water to make it worthy of holding major championships.
I am not saying that is not the case. What I am saying is that you are ignoring the American courses that this happens on, for example, Augusta, and berating Hoylake. So why are American courses treated differently? That's my question. You evidently don't enjoy the Masters if you like hard scoring courses. That's my point. I realise we have a difference of opinion, but I am asking whether your stance is the same for Augusta and Pebble Beach, or if this is only in relation to British courses. That's all.
Military-Golfer, Why is it that guys like you can't just disagree without tossing in some snide remarks?
Muahahahahahaha... Good one Alex!!
That has to be the best joke you have ever posted...
Who said you really had no sense of humor?
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