Is this the end for Tiger Woods as a serious contender for golf’s major titles? Let’s hope not. Tiger Woods is the top individual draw in ANY sport. I say individual because you may want to go see Barcelona play soccer, but there are several superstars on that team. Yes, you may want to see Messi, but there are others you will watch.
With yesterday’s announcement by the former World Number One that he will not compete in the U.S. Open at Congressional Country Club (June 16-19), he said he is doing this on the advice of his doctor. That’s the most mature thing Tiger has done in the past two years.
Obviously, he is not what he once was (how many of us are?)…and probably will NEVER be as great as he was. The real question is will he ever be good again?
I said two years ago I did not think he would break Jack Nicklaus’ record of 18 majors. So far, I’m looking good with my prediction. I saw a glimpse of his greatness at The Masters…but what I really saw was a bunch of younger players who show NO FEAR of the great Tiger Woods. They are hardly intimidated by an older player who they can out-drive, out-chip and out-putt. And, as they say in the commercial, “These Guys Are Good!”
I love watching the U.S. Open, and can’t wait to get to the DC area next week. The super-challenging rough…the bikini-waxed greens…players shooting OVER par. I have great memories of walking Congressional in 1997…watching an old guy named Nicklaus hit amazing shots, including one out of a lie under trees that he hit through an opening the size of a small window, while somehow making it take a left turn down the fairway onto the green. It truly was amazing because he talked to all of us who happened to be around the ball, told us what he thought he could do, and, with a wink, did it.
Ernie Els won that year and Colin Montgomerie was second. A young Tiger Woods finished 19th, and would not look any fans in the eye. Get an autograph? Good luck with that. At least that part of Tiger has changed…..my son had his picture taken with Tiger and got his autograph last year during a tournament on the East Coast. Maybe being a regular golfer does that to you. Humbles you.
I stand behind my statement that Tiger will NOT catch Jack in the majors title championship. I just hope I’m wrong…because if I am wrong, we are in for some spectacular golf. It just won’t begin in Bethesda next week.