Tiger Woods posted this driver swing today.
I’m no expert, but this is not the Tiger Woods we all used to know. He can’t get to his front foot… AT ALL. Watch the front foot and left leg. He’s so upright and the move to the finish looks completely artificial or robotic, or something.
I’m finding this intriguing to watch, in a drunken girl bar fight kind of way…
I’ve never done crack or any severely addicting drug… or even mildly addictive drugs. But I feel like I’m in a serious withdrawal state right now after the Masters concluded a day and a half ago. The Masters is as close to a drug as tournament golf can get.
Most “journalists” have a large portion of their articles written before the tournament ends. I’m starting mine over a day later, and honestly, I’m coming up pretty blank. Perhaps I’m partially brain dead from traveling all last week to the other side of the planet, and then suffering a sudden passing of an uncle on Masters Saturday. That’s my excuse. Then again, I’m not a journalist. I’m a blogger. Thankfully I don’t have a deadline a minimum number of words to turn in.
Willett Winning or Spieth Collapsing – Which Will Be Remembered?
Quick quiz: Who won the Masters the year Greg Norman blew a 6-shot lead? Golf aficionados probably know, but the average joe doesn’t. It was Nick Faldo, the first englishman to win the Masters.
Will the 2016 Masters be the same? Will it be known as the year Spieth blew the 5-shot lead with nine holes to play? I hope not and here’s why. Danny Willett played his ass off. His final round was as close to flawless as it could have been. Willett had five birdies and NO bogeys. None. Willett shot a 67 in the final round of only his 2nd Masters to win it. That’s spectacular golf people. Spectacular. Hats off to Danny Willett.
Jordan Spieth was fighting his swing in the final round of the 2016 Masters. He was getting away with it until #12 where he dunked two shots in the water and one in the back bunker on the world’s most famous par-3. He was able to recover from his off-shots previously and make up for it with great putting, but you can’t hit a recovery shot from water.
I think this Masters will be a very good learning experience for Spieth. It might take a little while for the sting and mental effects to subside, but in the long run it will be a character builder and something he can look back on and build from. Greg Norman used his Masters meltdown as a building block to great golf and business success.
One major championship left for Rory to claim the grand slam. I think this one is going to be more and more difficult for Rory to obtain. He has the perfect game for the Masters physically, but mentally this one is going to be tougher and tougher for him.
Rory played some very questionable shots from a game management standpoint. One in particular is the punch shot he hit out of the left trees on the par-4 11th. Too aggressive and it went in the water.
Jason Day should win a Masters one of these years. He too has a perfect game for Augusta. He just didn’t seem to have it this past week, especially with the putter.
Ernie Els and the Yips
On the first day we watched Ernie Els 7-putt (later it was recounted and was determined to be a 6-putt). Bad case of the yips and impossible to watch.
Aces on 16
The Sunday pin placement on the par-3 16th lends itself to aces and that’s just part of the great setup that produces excitement at the Masters. The 3rd and final ace was by Louis Oosthuizen and was amazing. His ball hit another player’s ball and still went in the hole. Never seen anything like that before.
No Tiger. No Phil. No Problem.
This is the first time since possibly the mid-90s that neither Tiger Woods or Phil Mickelson have at least been part of the Masters conversation. Times aren’t changing. They have changed. Welcome to the new world. We may have a flash of Phil and Tiger in the future still, but the new guard has taken over.
The Masters Never Disappoints
I say this every year and it’s true every time I say it. The Masters Tournament never disappoints. Thanks to Bobby Jones and Allister Mackenzie for setting up a golf course and event that is truly the best and most exciting and entertaining, year in and year out. Even though I was not able to watch Thursday or most of Saturday this year due to more important things conflicting, it was still a thrill.
Good news! Only 359 days until the 2017 Masters Tournament!
April 1 2016 – Tiger Woods announced today that he would be replacing Arnold Palmer in the traditional opening tee shot ceremony at the 2016 Masters Tournament. Palmer, 86, has been suffering from a lingering shoulder injury and earlier in March announced that he would not be able to participate in the opening tee shot.
Arnold Palmer Teeing Off In The Masters Opening Ceremony
Four-time Masters champion Woods, 40, has been battling injury as well and is recovering from another back surgery.
“I have concluded I’m not at a physical or mental state to compete in the Masters Tournament at this time. By taking part in the opening tee shot ceremony Thursday morning I will be able to participate and contribute to the event. I’m looking forward to seeing if I can out-drive Gary (Player).” ~Tiger Woods
Woods will join six time Masters champion Jack Nicklaus and three time champion Gary Player as part of the modified “Big Three.”
“I look forward to hearing the announcement, ‘fore please, Tiger Woods now driving.’ That said, I don’t plan on permanently relinquishing myself to a ceremonial starter and hope to return and compete for another green jacket in 2017.” ~Tiger Woods
The ceremonial tee shot takes place Thursday morning at 8:00am eastern time on the first tee of Augusta National Golf Club.
I’m probably going to tick a few people off with my following comments but you can’t fix what isn’t broken. I stumbled across a Twitter discussion the other day that got the two of the three brain cells in my cranium activated. The reason only two cells is because the 3rd is in charge of keeping my heart beating and lungs pumping air, but I digress. The question:
“How can we golf fix the wage gap between the PGA Tour and LPGA Tour?”
LPGA star Stacey Lewis in a recent Golf.com piece laments the pay gap:
“It’s pretty frustrating to still see the huge gap in what the guys are paid and we are paid, you know. When really we are doing the same thing and the only difference is the TV numbers and the TV ratings. That’s really it. We’re probably actually hitting more fairways than the guys and more greens than the guys, you know. There’s certain parts of the game we actually do better. Um, you know when I play with the guys a lot they’re like ‘do you ever miss a fairway?’ That’s usually what they say to me so, I mean, our games are pretty comparable so it’s just the exposure.”
My first reaction to the stats argument is that I know a guy who golfs every day and is 80 years old. He’s practically deaf and can barely see. I’ve NEVER seen this guy miss a fairway. He hits his driver about 100 yards and dead straight every time. He should be making $10 million a year! Think back to when Tiger Woods was dominating professional golf. His driving accuracy was terrible, barring a few stretches where it was just mediocre. But he could hit recovery shots nobody else could. He made the putts when he had to at the most dramatic times. It was golf entertainment at a level which had probably never been higher and may never be again.
How does TaylorMade market their drivers? The number one thing they’ll hit potential buyers with is distance. Sure they’ll mention accuracy as a side note but really, the buyer doesn’t seem to care that much. It’s about distance, power… It’s not about fairways hit or who hits the most greens in regulation. Otherwise Fred Funk would have been Tiger Woods. From a fan standpoint it’s about entertainment. All due respect to Fred Funk, I’d rather watch Tiger or Rory McIlory, Jason Day. That said, when Fred Funk won THE PLAYERS (always spell that in ALL CAPS. It’s what they do), his funky chicken dance was very entertaining.
Lewis says that if the women simply got more exposure they would become as popular as the men. Uh, no. I rarely watch professional golf anymore, but if I do, I want to watch the best, most exciting golfers on the planet. Those golfers are Rory McIlory, Jason Day, Jordan Spieth… You get it. Sure the LPGA players are talented and such, I’m not arguing that point.
When it boils down to nuts and bolts the LPGA Tour and PGA Tour are forms of entertainment, just like the NBA. The salaries of professional golfers are paid by the fans who either support the advertisers for events, or support the players’ sponsors. The players who draw the most attention naturally are the ones who can draw the biggest paychecks in the form of prize money and endorsements, like Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlory, and so on. The men are obviously more entertaining to the general public than the women are, and therefore draw more revenue. The general public doesn’t care about fairway percentage or greens in regulation or the LPGA Tour would have surpassed the PGA Tour in viewership long ago.
Pro golf is not an industry like my day job doing web development. If I have a set of specific web development skills which are the same as a female web developer then it is certainly unfair that on average she would make 78 cents compared to every dollar I make. That is completely unfair and not right. But pro golf isn’t web development. It’s not managing a Subway. It’s not asset management or working at a bank or doing sales or flying an airplane. It’s an entertainment industry. In such an industry the money is driven by viewers.
Arguing for gender equity in professional golf is an argument that will never win. If the LPGA was truly as entertaining as the PGA Tour, it would have already established itself as an equal in viewership and sponsor dollars. It’s not and it never will be.
The days of proofreading, editors, grammar, and common sense in the golf media world are long gone…
So Steve Williams learned of Tiger Woods se scandal in a new book? It’s amazing it took him until 2015 to learn about the 2008 scandal, being so close to Tiger and all. Nice job Digest.
On a side note, I’m not interested in Steve Williams or anything he has to say.