Book it: Jack Nicklaus' major record safe from Tiger Woods
I don’t want to claim I’m a prophet or anything, but for years I’ve been saying “whoa!” to all the experts who were counting the days until Tiger Woods reached Jack Nicklaus’ golden record of 18 majors.
There are any number of things that could happen between now and then, I said, like one of the ancient sages, such as Isaiah. Or maybe Ismail is closer to it.
Among the many possibilities I mentioned was injury. Happens all the time in sports, and anyone who ever saw Woods’ savage swing, with all that torque, could have foreseen such a thing if they hadn’t all jumped on the Tiger bandwagon.
Woods initially tried to give the impression his knee surgery was a routine arthroscopic procedure, but of course we now know it’s much worse than that. The fact it’s the left knee, where he plants, makes it worse.
Even worse was the strain he put on it after he injured it while jogging. Woods played in 12 tournaments after he tore his anterior cruciate ligament.
Anyone who’s remotely familiar with sports knows the ACL has felled many a great athlete. Some come back from serious ACL injuries, many do not.
Woods himself has said it may be two years before he re-gains his former form. I say he will never re-gain it. It isn’t just the knee, it’s the confidence that goes down with it.
Woods may win a tournament or two after he comes back, but he will never re-gain the form that had everybody certain he would surpass Nicklaus.
I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad tidings, but in this way I am like Muhammad, who said: “Say what is true, although it may be bitter and displeasing to people.”
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You happen to be Sarah Palin's speechwriter?
Go to school, then get back to me.
Michael: Most of my writing is drug-fueled.
I had total knee reconstruction in 1999, played back to my 2 handicap in 1 year. Medical school teaches you that your quads and hamstring act as a knee stabilizer. Tiger is a workout nut with huge quads and hammies. Furthermore, if he could win without an ACL, who's to say he can't with a repaired one. (Some say he played for two years with no ACL).
I love golf. However, some part of me hopes Tiger retires. It would be great for the game. Watching average golfers duke it out weekly has been more fun than watching the greatest ever. Plus, Tiger retires and golf returns to what it really is: a hobby.
I wonder if Phil Mickelson and the rest of the bunch are silently cheering?
One things for certain is that confidence will NOT be a factor. Woods is one of the most mentally tough players to wield a club; thus, psychological frailty just isn't that kind of a factor. It's like when Nicklaus contended for the Masters at age 58 with a bad hip. Such players apply themselves no matter what.
What is possible is that Woods will have to alter his swing to take stress off that left knee. This would entail not "popping" the knee, as Woods puts it, so violently. This would result in a loss of some power and distance, but not enough to really dampen his chances in my estimation.
All you fellas have man-crushes on Tiger and can't bear the thought of him being just another golfer.
Oh, that's right ... none of them.
At least when BTuck writes something crazy about Sergio, you know he truly believes it.
Woods wins at least one major next year guaranteed. And passes Jack in 2011.
You may have the biggest man-crush of all on Tiger.
It's understandable. Tiger can have any woman he wants. I've seen too many women to count reject your awkward overtures.
Woods will be extrarodinarly lucky to win one more major, but I doubt even that happens.
Actually, I dislike Woods fairly intensely. This is because he is spoiled and somewhat petulant, a real prima donna. Thus, I would like nothing more than to see him fade like a Bruce Leitzke drive. Having said this, believing he will is a flight of fancy.
Will he be every bit as good as he was at his best? Perhaps not, but he'll probably still be pretty darn close. Like him or not, the man is a singular talent.
Let's not forget how fast the game, and its players, can progress.
Two years is an eternity in sports. Anthony Kim, for example. Sergio Garcia is bound to grow up one day.
All these up-and-coming players will have a huge head start on a weakened Tiger.
The Tiger Woods era is over.
There is something you overlook. Woods' main asset isn't his distance; some guys hit it just as long and a few longer. His main asset isn't his talent; some guys certainly can compare in that regard. His main asset isn't his work ethic; some guys work at least as hard. His main asset, Tim, is mental toughness of a kind we haven't witnessed since Nicklaus.
No matter what these other very talented, ambitious, powerful, hard-working players do, they will never possess that quality to the extent to which Woods does. And, without it, you cannot surpass him over the long haul.
In other words, Villegas will always miss a few too many short putts and Mickelson will always hit some errant drives when it counts. And you can say the same about virtually all of his competitors.
Again, this isn't to say that he may -- and I say "may" -- not be some small percentage less effective, but it won't be enough to place the pinnacle of the game beyond his grasp.
I will also reiterate that I'll be extremely surprised if he doesn't alter his swing so as to take pressure off his left knee.
Lastly, having said this, I agree that he may not break Nicklaus' records. This, however -- and I know this is far afield -- is because I expect calamities and social upheaval in the not-too-distant future that will be so great, that golf tournaments may not even be contested. And that, my liberal friend, you can just about book.
Still, your argument is lacking in several areas.
You're wrong when it comes to Woods' talent level. It IS far superior to everyone else's, when you consider the totality of his game.
There are people out there with his mental toughness -- they just don't have the Woods-type talent to go with it.
Mental toughness is a direct consequence of confidence, and when you don't have one, you have neither.
When your body, heretofore invincible, breaks down, it's inevitable that confidence goes with it. For an athlete,
that's everything. It creates doubt, even if it's a seed.
I've seen it many times.
Woods has said it will probably be two years before he's truly back and during that time, as you say, he will probably be tinkering with his swing to take pressure off the left knee.
We've seen what happens when he changes his swing.
In the meantime, there are a dozen or maybe more pros who will be winning more and more, gaining confidence and surpassing him in virtually every respect, as he struggles.
He's flawed now, and he will never again be the Tiger Woods we've seen in the past.
2. If 2002, he wasn't the Tiger Woods we had seen in 2000; he was better.
3. Even if something is denied him, he will search his soul for a new angle, a new way, a new method to get "it" done.
4. That said, congratulations on writing a great blog entry. This got everyone talking again.
3. "Searching your soul" is overrated.
2. Don't have comment.
1. Plenty. We just haven't had opportunity to see it.
not destroy Nicklaus' major
record. I hope they don't throw you in jail Tim, because it is always a pleasure to read a nonconformist's point of view. And Booger, I can't believe you actually used the words despise and Woods in the same sentence (you are my new hero!).
I've always enjoyed reading the tidbits of wisdom from Judge Smails, but your last post has me really scared (and I'm a Montana survivalist!). Your doomsday prediction was so succinct, I'm going to trade all of my ProV1's for canned goods. The only hope for this world is for Bubbles to come to the rescue - she is truely capable of fixing global calamities and social upheaval.
Hey, this posting of comments is fun!
Bubbles is a walking, talking, golfing calamity.
Judge, this must be why you don't like Obama. I see you as a wealthy, loophole-loving tax-dodger.
I only wish that were true (that I was wealthy). The problem with soci*lism -- which is what modern liberalism has degenerated into -- is that the rich stay rich but the middle class can never live the American dream and join them. Consider that great soci*list George Soros, for instance. He'll have his billions regardless and always be able to work the system, but the ol' McDonalds will have to stay on the farm. Thus, what you could say is that after playing the game and making it to the top, he wants the ball taken away and a chain put on the schoolyard gate. Reprehensible.
As for Obama, I had heard it explained when he or one of his acolytes was pressed that 95 percent of those who PAY TAXES will get a cut. That, of course, makes more sense. However, if he can use the blanket 95-percent rhetoric -- which he still does -- I can counter with new-math mockery.
Oh, by the way, if I could, I wouldn't pay one lousy cent to this unconstitutional, robber-baron government. And, no, I'm not shallow enough to say that simply because Bush is in office, but because I know the Constitution has been a dead letter for perhaps one-hundred years of more (probably started with Lincoln).
It's nice to wax self-righteous about constitutional principles, though. It makes us feel erudite and important.
As far as 'taxes' go - wake the heck up! The Democratic Party is on record with planning to return tax rates for ALL to the levels they were when Clinton was in office...and reinstate the inheritance tax....and raise capital gains tax....and raise the tax you pay when you make a profit selling your home. And what do they want to DO with this money? WHY, give us the same 'socialized medicine' programs that DON'T WORK in Canada or England! ;)
"AND, we'll have the mindless eejits who vote B. Hussein Obama into office TO THANK for it."
Since this blog has somehow morphed into politics, I'll throw in my few cents worth.
Judge, your prediction of impending calamities and social upheaval is not as far-fetched as many of our liberal friends would like to believe.
Consider these facts: The USA is the only nation with the capability and the will to confront the worldwide threat of militant Islam. If either our capability or our will is compromised, the Islamic radicals will be emboldened, and the attacks on the USA and the rest of the West will like increase exponentially.
Withdrawing unilaterally from Iraq and Afghanistan, which is exactly what the liberals in this country want,would accomplish the demoralization of our Armed Forces and leave our nation a sitting duck for Islamist attacks.
Another catastrophic course of action is the clamor for bailing out of the financial markets, relieving deadbeats from the obligations of honoring contractual obligations with regard to mortgages, etc.
Printing more "funny money", which is precisely what this would mean, will only exacerbate the situation.
But these things seemed destined to come about, if the candidates are serious in their pronouncements.
As far as Woods beating Jack's majors record, wasn't it just a few months ago that several posters here were confidently predicting that Tiger--and also Lorena--would win the grand slam in 2008? Didn't happen, did it.
My advice is that when Woods gets to the winners' circle after 18 majors, and he needs one more for the record,that then would be the time to get excited about the record.
Alex USMC 1969-73
Yes, many people would consider it nutty to entertain such a possibility, but they have been lulled into a false sense of security. The truth is that we're at a precipice and may in the not-too-distant future see a confluence of a number of very negative factors.
As to this, you mentioned one that is understood by relatively few: the cutting of our money. The world's financial system is based on fiat currency, and that is a chicken that will really come home to roost.
As for bailing everyone out, as Herbert Spencer once said, "The result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to create a nation of fools."
I find some of your analysis amusing. Why? Because even though Tiger has not played since the US Open, he still is second on the US PGA Tour money list playing six tournaments only. Some golfers did step up to the plate (i.e. most notably VJ Singh, Kenny Perry, AK, Camilio V. and Padraig -although aside from the two majors, he is struggling a bit) but none consistently. So they have almost given Tiger time to regroup and be back to challenge them in mid-February 2009 possibly. At least Tiger seems to be following his surgeons' orders because he wants to play competitively for at least another FIVE years so his kids (Sam and the soon-to-be little Tiger/Tigress) can witness him winning a few more tournaments. If that is not enough MOTIVATION for Tiger, nothing else will. I might be one of the few that will not be counting Tiger out - don't forget that until he is 65 he can still play in the British Open and the Masters. I do believe he should be able to win a few more of those if he focuses intently on those two tournaments. God willing, he will return to competitive golf at least 50 to 75% healed.
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