Monday, April 11, 2005

Tiger's swing holds up (barely) and he takes his fourth green jacket

Just when the Masters looked like it might get dull, and Tiger Woods would storm to a win, Chris DiMarco made the whole tournament interesting by becoming arguably the first golfer since Bob May in 2000 to tackle Woods head-to-head and not back down from the pressure.
It was a gutsy, fascinating exercise by DiMarco. If he makes any putts early in his round, I suspect he might have pulled off the come from behind win over Woods. Instead, Woods makes an improbable chip on the 16th for birdie (you could actually see DiMarco deflating as the chip fell in...) and then the World's No. 1 golfer makes two straight bogeys to make the whole thing interesting again.
Though Tiger won, I don't think he's returned to the form of 2000-01 that saw him dominate on so many fronts. His performance yesterday was enough to win, but hardly dominating.

I still wonder about the wisdom of using Hank Haney to rebuild his swing. Like Ben Hogan, Tiger will likely always been tinkering with his mechanics, but I doubt you'll see Haney around as long as Butch Harmon was. Though Haney seems more comfortable outside of the limelight (in other words, he doesn't have to become a product pitcher like Harmon is -- given the infomercials he does, when does he teach?), I doubt Woods will stick with him.

Already Haney is garnering more press than Tiger would probably like. Take the recent story in Golf World, for example, where Haney squares off against critic Jim McLean.
McLean questions the need for Woods to rebuild a swing that made him so dominant a player.
"It's the most amazing thing I've ever seen in golf, Tiger making a major swing change," McLean told the magazine. "I don't think we've ever seen anybody dominate the game like that and make major changes like this. It's an almost unimaginable risk, but Tiger is a guy who will take that chance."

Haney responds badly, calling McLean, "an asshole." If that's the way he's going to deal with criticism, then I doubt very much he'll hold up to the constant strain of the spotlight that's always on Woods.

The entirety of the Golf World story can be found here.

  • Here's a pretty decent timeline detailing Tiger's rise in the world of golf.
  • At Golfobserver.com, Lorne Rubenstein writes about why Jack Nicklaus should be allowed to do whatever he pleases -- and notes that Jack had long since given up competitive golf prior to his appearance at last week's Masters.

1 Comments:

At 4:36 PM, Anonymous Hoylake said...

Re: McLean

LOL that quote from Haney is priceless, thanks. Also...

In 2003 on Masters Sunday when Weir was closing with that heart-stopping par on 18 they cut to poor old Len Mattice staying loose on the range in anticipation of a playoff... and guess which self-promoting swing-coach was sitting there five feet away, smiling like an idiot for the cameras and yapping at him: Jim McLean!

Mattice had just fired an unconscious 66 on Masters Sunday, the round of his life and here's McLean sitting there WORKING on the poor guy before the playoff! Unbelieveable! Haney is right, the guy is an asshole, for more proof read Mclean's useless instructional tips in Golf Digest where he brags about some half-assed drill that got him tuned up in two weeks to qualify for the Depends Senior Open etc. LMFAO go Hank! And no worries about Tiger, he's 100% blue under that collar, I bet he loved Haney ripping the schmuck straight-up, nice to see some candor in the golf world for a change.

 

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