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Golf: Tiger Woods' Withdrawal and Why

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Stan Sutherland
Stan Sutherland

“When Woods announced Monday he was backing out of his entry into this week's Safeway Open, he said it was because of non-specific "vulnerabilities" in his game.” That’s from Matthew Rudy whose sub-heading reads, “It could be rust, nerves, physical issues or even the yips.”

Performance anxiety perhaps?
Matthew Rudy writes, “Greg Norman knows about the stresses that come with re-emerging on the tournament scene. He hadn't played in a major for three years before the 2008 British Open, where he would hold the lead after the third round and end up tying for third. After that tournament, he essentially stopped playing tournament golf because he saw that he couldn't compete at the highest level. He says that Woods' up-close experience at Hazeltine could have at least temporarily discouraged him about his readiness for a comeback.”

And on the same theme Jaime Diaz writes, “In the constantly judged world of entertainment, it’s the very best at their craft in the latter stages of their career who often are the most susceptible to paralyzing bouts of stage fright. Laurence Olivier, Maria Callas, Vladimir Horowitz, Barbra Streisand and Mikael Baryshnikov are a few of the more notable cases.”

A wake up call
Quoting Greg Norman, Matthew writes, "When you're someone like Tiger at Hazeltine, you watch Sergio and Phil battling it out and you start asking yourself, 'Would I be able to match a 63 with a 63?'" says Norman. "You start talking to yourself."

And Bill Harmon appears to later agree,  "He had to have seen it at Hazeltine…They were nipping pitch shots off that turf and bombing tee shots long and straight. They were playing golf the way he used to play it. It was probably a wake-up call that he wasn't close.”

Link to Matthew Rudy and Jaime Diaz

Quote of the Day
“The yip thing embarrasses you to your core as a tour player, because it makes you feel like you don't have control." - Golf Digest 50 Best Teacher Randy Smith suggesting that it’s tempting to think that Tiger’s got ‘em.


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