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Golf in Godzone: Steve’s Not To Blame

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Stan Sutherland
Stan Sutherland
Tiger Woods

“I told Steve we made three mental mistakes and the only thing it cost us was a chance to win the U.S. Open.” So said Tiger after his final round at Pebble Beach.

Many of the talking heads in the golf world in search of good story, and unconcerned about just giving the facts, suggest that Steve is being blamed by Tiger for the mistakes.

Johnette Howard at writes, “Whine of Tiger shows he’s mentally weaker
…Bothered by greens? Blaming his caddie? That’s not the old Tiger we know”
Excuse me Johnette and all the other people who are suggesting there’s a possible parting of the ways between the two, Tiger did say “we”. And as far as I’m concerned Tiger wasn’t whining…
Although I have to say the photograph with the following caption is worth a look at;
“Tiger Woods and caddie Steve Williams discuss yardage during the final round of the U.S. Open on Sunday.”
Tiger does appear to display some doubt while Steve looks very comfortable with what he’s telling Tiger.
Having watched on TV, Tiger’s fleeting remarks after having just signed his card, I find it difficult to see how anyone can infer from this that Tiger was taking Steve to task, and most definitely wasn’t yelping.
But let’s not spoil a good story headline.  According to Ms Howard, “There’s no use even mentioning the “old” Woods would’ve never yelped like he did about how Williams’ final-round advice doomed him, or about the difficulties of putting on the Pebble Beach greens, as Woods whined Saturday and Thursday before that.”
Moving on from yelping to fragility Johnette writes, “…Woods’ game shows promising signs now and then. What’s changed about him is this new fragility he’s showing, this inability to not only overcome setbacks but avoid turning them into public Shakespearean dramas where he tosses his head, drops his clubs in anguish after a bad shot, and later insinuates that the world or even those closest to him — like Williams, his caddie of 11 years — are betraying him.”
It’s at times like this I’m glad I’m under no pressure to produce posts with borderline credibility just to keep my editor happy.
Staying with Tiger and what could be considered further Tiger-bashing. Guy Yocom at Golf Digest is interviewing Hank Haney. It’s a lengthy article but well worth a read.
Here’s a couple of passages.

“Yocom-Do teachers get too much credit for players' successes, and too much blame for their failures?

Hank-I don't see teachers getting a lot of credit, and that's fine. Tiger deserves the credit, not me. I didn't hit the shots; he did. I don't think I deserved a great deal of credit, but on the other hand I don't feel I deserved the lion's share of the blame when he struggled.”

And for those people desperately seeking a hint of sour grapes from Hank. The bad news is:

“Yocom-Will we see another player like Tiger in our lifetimes?

“Hank-No. The physical, the mental, the ability to make putts in the clutch, his pure talent, his competitiveness, the tools it takes to be great. I don't just view Tiger as the greatest golfer in history, I think he's the greatest athlete who ever lived.”

Here’s the NBCSports link and to Guy Yocom

Given Ms Howard’s reference to the works of Shakespeare, here’s my thought for the day.

“There is a tide in the affairs of men, which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune…”

At the moment Tiger’s tide is a wee bit out. However to quote Schwarzenegger and not Shakespeare; “I’ll be back.” And so will Tiger with or without Steve.

Guid gowfin’ at the weekend



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