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He's Grrrrrrreat!

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I remember watching Tiger Woods win his second US Amateur Championship somewhere around a dozen years ago.  I must admit, in the early days of le Tigre, I was not a fan.  I was a Freddy Couples man.  I loved the idea that you could win a major championship while looking like you poured milk over a bowl of muscle relaxers and called it cereal.

But no, of course not, that was too good to be true. Tiger Woods had to come charging in with his “fitness” and “energy”.  I feared we were going to lose the hangover’s only known comfort, lazy Sunday afternoon golf. 

“Shhh…. quiet please.  Els stands over his 6 foot putt for par…… …. he backs off.”

But Tiger’s fire didn’t damage golf, it made it exciting.  I can still get lulled to sleep by Bob Costas giving me a verbal massage while they pan around the pretty flowers at Augusta, but when it comes down to the big finish, I would no longer dare being caught in a doze.  There’s usually a Tiger afoot.

It’s tough to believe in most athletes nowadays, with steroids, scandals and other disappointments.  And it’s easy to be a negative Nancy and predict these failures, because true greatness is rare; thus, betting against it is easy.  For years there was always a group of people who thought Tiger was a flash-in-the-pan. 

Those people no longer exist.  From negative sports commentators (Skip Gayliss) to the most positive (Bob Costas), everybody is in Tigers corner.  Eventually, I think you realize you’re watching something so rare and special that you want to be a part of it.  I jumped on Tigers bandwagon (which is a semi-truck with a Ferrari engine) years ago, and have been loving every minute since. 

He’s classy, intelligent, and crazy competitive.  And his wife is dumb hot, but um, I suppose that’s irrelevant.  I say we enjoy the next 5-10 years of Tiger’s peak, because he makes golf that much better.  He’s forced everyone else to be better, and I can no longer imagine my Sunday’s without him. 

Rock on Eldrick.  Congrats on breeding an heir.

 

Afterthought:  I’ve scoured the net and cannot find one suitable compilation of Tiger highlights that I feel accurately represents his greatest shots, largely because the volume of them is so huge that the lists get narrowed down.  “Best short game shots”, “Best shots in majors” and similar titles are often the heading for Tiger lists.  I’ve been watching Tiger shots for almost an hour and his top ten highlights from list to list rarely include more than one or two of the same shots. 

220 yards from a bunker over water with the tournament on the line in the Canadian Open?  Six iron to 15 feet.

The running point he did after a long par putt to stay in contention at the US Open?  Legendary.

Jarring it from the fairway on 15 for eagle to move one back of the Matthew Gogle, the leader (who he eventually overtook)?  Count it.

What about any of his nine aces, or the ridiculously long putts he’s canned on British Open greens?  Unimportant footnotes.

But, if you’ve read my stuff recently, you know what I consider the best shot of all-time, in any sport.  Better than Ovechkin from his back, better than the Michael Jordan (push-off, but who cares he rules) jumper against Utah in the finals, better than Kirk Gibson’s shot outta the park.  Screw Christian Laettner.  The best shot ever goes to….. :

(I put the long version on for context, enjoy the two minutes)

IN YOUR LIFE HAVE YOU SEEN ANYTHING LIKE THAT!?   Of course, Tiger goes on to take The Masters.  Poor DiMarco had to putt after that.  If you see the shot from different angles, Tiger has a moment of heart-break when it looks like it’s not gonna go in.       It does.

Comments

9 Responses to “He's Grrrrrrreat!”
  1. Some Guy says:

    Hockey, random rambles, and most important of all continous golf blogging! S*#@ yah! More to do on the internet when I should be working. Thank you!

  2. Neil C. says:

    As a guy who doesn’t play golf, I am curious. If Tiger tried to hit that shot, say, 100 times, how many times do you think he’d get it within 4 inches of the pin? How many times would he bag it? I’m not trying to make a point, just curious about how much luck is involved in something like this. Michael surely expected to nail his shot… Do you think Tiger lined it up expecting/trying to put it in?

  3. LIke his stripes... says:

    Neil: That’s the beauty of it. He could take 100 balls to that same spot and not jar another one. I doubt he could leave three within six inches of the pin. Yet on golf’s biggest stage — Sunday at the Master’s — and two holes left, he cans it. Luck? Sure, just like the putt at the US Open…and the shot at the Canadian Open…and the next one and next one and next one. The bigger the stage, the, uh, luckier he gets. It’s the beauty of Tiger: where most players tend to melt, he just goes other-worldly. Amazing!

  4. jtbourne says:

    Corbett, the answer you just got was bang on. The ball was sitting against the thicker cut there, the rough, which makes it so much harder to get the club face on the ball. To have it “check up” where it did on the hill and start turning right was nearly impossible. The next four players on the PGA top five would have gotten that close enough to a distance where they’d make the putt probably 50% of the time from there. Those greens are as fast as my garage floor. He was looking at bogey and already falling behind the leader….. jars it.

  5. Miller Time! says:

    Bourne, Just found out about the blog, love the reading, right up my ally as you know. As for Tiger, I’m an underdog fan myself, except in this instance, Golf is completely different. How many tournaments do you think I’ve watched without Tiger in it – Zero! Theres something magical about this man that brings me to watch as well as the majority of golf fans around the world! I think hands down this man has done more for his sport than any other man in sport, and that is a huge accomplishment all in it’s self. Well bud you keep writing and i’ll keep reading!

  6. keith johnson says:

    wow didnt see that one coming today…clark outplayed tiger straight up. he’ll be ready for augusta, no worries.

  7. Dr Borsuk says:

    I after revisting that shot I would say the only part of Tiger’s game that needs work is his and Steve’s post shot high five/low five/fist pound/overhand clasp.

    I’d like to see more of the pound with explosion afterward on the tour.

  8. jtbourne says:

    Haha, seriously. As a golfer, you know occasionally a shot is going to be high-five worthy. You’d think a few player caddy combo’s would figure out something sick.

  9. Ray W. says:

    Feherty said it best: Tiger has single-handedly gone and replaced the ten greatest golf shots I’ve ever seen.

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