Tiger Woods Continues to be in Denial
I wonder who Tiger Woods thinks he is fooling.
At the pre British Open press conference he was asked what has kept him from winning majors over the last five years. Woods said “I think it’s just a shot here and there.” Actually he needs to add another here and there because the closest he’s come to a playoff since winning the 2008 U.S. Open was at the 2009 PGA, in which he shot a final round 75 to lose by three shots to Y.E. Yang, and at the 2010 U.S. Open where he ended up three back of Graeme McDowell after again closing with a 75.
Woods furthermore said that winning was about “getting a good bounce here,” and “capitalizing on an opportunity here and there.” Well, yes, those happenings can make the difference when you are in the hunt and are breathing down the leaders necks, but in every other of the last 16 majors, Woods has failed to even put himself into position where good fortune could propel to victory.
Woods was primed for a run at the Masters when his approach shot to the 15th in the second round rebounded off the pin and into the lake and he eventually took an 8. If that had not happened, however, I think that the New Woods (the one who seems to have lost his special powers in the majors) would have found another way to lose. As the U.S. Open I guess we can give him a pass for his poor showing due to his injured elbow, which he now says will be fine providing he can steer clear of Muirfield’s hay fields.
Woods, now 37, is down to his last two majors of the year – two chances to avoid his fifth straight season without a major title. If he fails to win the Open or the PGA, he will have only eight starts in the majors remaining in his 30s to add to his 14 titles, and his chances of passing Jack Nicklaus’ record will appear to be all but over.
So, you think he isn’t feeling the pressure?
Mickelson’s big consolation prize
Phil Mickelson brought his family over to Scotland for a vacation on the eve of the British Open, yet still managed time to win a playoff for the Scottish Open, boosting him to the fifth spot in the World Golf Rankings. And, despite his heartbreaking collapse at Merion, where he posted his sixth second in our nation’s national championship, he is definitely one of the hottest players on the planet, having finished 3, MC, 2t, 2t, MC, W in his last five starts.
If Mickelson was asked if he could own one of the two Opens, he would surely pick ours. Still, a win at this week’s British Open would do just as much, if not more, for his position in golf’s pecking order of all-time greats. A win would give him three legs of the Career Grand Slam, pull him into a tie with Seve Ballesteros at five majors, and a win at St. Andrews would give him majors on two continents, bolstering his reputation as an international player. It would also put him in the company of Nicklaus and Woods, who both won at golf’s home.