Tiger Woods is in jeopardy of losing his number one ranking at this week’s Bridgestone Invitational. Both Lee Westwood and Phil Mickelson had the chance to overtake Tiger coming into this weekend if TW, but Westwood has withdrawn with that same nagging leg injury he’s had for a few weeks. He will not be playing in next week’s PGA Championship either. Speculation is that he’s resting up the leg for the Ryder Cup.
Phil on the other hand, can overtake Tiger with a win or a top four and with Tiger finishing outside the top 37. With rounds of 74 + 72 (failing to break par in either of the first two rounds of the Bridgestone), Tiger currently sits at a tie for 72nd place.
SI has come out with their “Fortunate 50” list for 2010. Once again the top to highest paid athletes are golfers!
#1: Tiger Woods has been the highest paid athlete for seven years in a row, despite a drop in $22 million last year. Boy how much could you do with an extra $22 million per year? Was it worth it? Despite dropping $22 million, Tiger still brought in $90 million. I suspect that number will be smaller for next year.
#2: Phil Mickelson is once again #2 in earnings and brought in $61 million.
Thanks to my buddy Jason W. for referring me to an article from Joe Posnanski from SI. Had he not pointed it out I never would have read it. I rarely read articles by the regular sports media, or as they like to be called, “journalists.” I prefer to read my fellow golf bloggers. Most journalists love to point out that us bloggers are not journalists. In my case I take that as a compliment. Actually, I insist that I’m a blogger and not a journalist. That whole discussion is for another day.
All that circular gibberish aside, I officially like Joe and I’ll check out more of his pieces.
Joe’s article basically ponders the possibilities of Tiger’s “time” being over. Has his incredible run of regular PGA Tour and major championship victories ended? The bookies and many people in the media sure don’t seem to think so and neither did many of my buddies. I had Lee Westwood, Paul Casey and Padraig Harrington at the top of my list.
I reckon back to my golf round Tuesday in my men’s club when my buddy Dan asked me how Tiger would do in the (British) Open Championship. He asked me “field or Tiger?” I clearly and confidently answered “field.” Then I told him that despite the fact that St. Andrews seemed like a pitch and putt for Tiger in 2000 and 2005, I doubted Tiger would record a top 10 finish. My reason wasn’t that Tiger’s time was done, but rather his mind can’t be clear enough to concentrate at a level high enough to win a major so close to his personal issues and (apparent) divorce.
The next few years will be interesting to say the least. Can Tiger break Jack’s record or even threaten it? Many new players are surfacing and the fields do nothing but get stronger. Winning a major for anyone continues to get more and more difficult. Meanwhile, Tiger gets older. The mental drain he endures with his personal life and the ever irritating (to him) media grinds away at him and his ability to focus. It has to. He’s human.
Morning coffee, and a headache for me today. I spent too much time out in the sun and the 100 degree temps yesterday. I played in a city amateur, then hiked several miles in the local mountains. I have mild heat stroke.
After four holes Louis Oosthuizen of South Africa isn’t showing any signs of folding. Typically in major championships, players who are in his position tend to melt down. But Louis is looking good. He’s sitting on a five shot lead and nobody in the field is making any kind of run at him. Oosthuizen is leading in nearly every important statistical category.
Tiger Woods (currently tied for 27th) will be on his private jet on the way home before Oosthuizen finishes his round.
Phil Mickelson, who doesn’t typically play well in the (British) Open Championship is 13 shots back after 14 holes.
Paul Casey is in the final group and is five shots back. He’s +1 on the day.
Barring a nuclear meltdown, Ousthuisen will become a household name. I’ve already added him to the HOG tag list, which means he’s made the big time. But this is the Open and conditions are tough. Anything can happen.
About one hour after play was suspended at the Open Championship, play has resumed. Play would have resumed a few minutes earlier, but Sean O’Hair was missing in action and they had to wait for him to return.
Classic shot of the old fashioned, hand cranked leader board at St. Andrews:
“Play has been suspended due to high wind. LOL”
LOL!?!?! That is hilarious!