August 10, 2010
I played golf on Sunday at Oak Valley GC in Winston-Salem, a Palmer course. Met my best golfing buddy there for a round. It didn't take long in the cart before the subject of Tiger came up. Jeff is more interested in the PGA tour than I am, and was adamant in his position. "We've seen the best Tiger, he'll never be as good as he was before," he opined. He'll still be good, Jeff added, but he'll never dominate again, and there's no way he'll break Jack's record now. "Give him some time", I offered, "he might come back strong." It's hard to imagine what he's going through, trying to cope with the problems at home and the media circus. Not to mention his own feelings. THEN he shot his worst round ever as a pro, and finished his worst tournament that afternoon. Yikes. I think the train has jumped the tracks and he's got work to do to get it back on. Can you imagine him not making the Ryder Cup team? I think it started when he took his swing apart a few years ago under Butch Harmon's coaching, and he's never been as solid as he was before. Great, yes, dominating, okay, but not as methodical or certain as with the old swing. He fired Harmon a little while back and he's now trying to find the magic alone. Whether he gets another coach, or watches old films, I'm betting he eventually goes back to something closer to the old approach. He's still got to deal with the mess in his life, but have you ever seen a golfer with more mental discipline? Tiger has had the ability to compartmentalize better than anyone since, say, Bill Clinton. And as they say, it's darkest just before dawn, and TG's golf game could not have gotten much darker than last weekend. So I think he'll come back to the top. Then again, I think of the disappearance of David Duval, who was numero uno about the time Tiger came on the scene. Golf needs Tiger, so I hope he makes it back. I don't think we'll see it this year, though.