Adios Tiger

Tiger-Woods-Muirfield-Village

1 August 2016 (Ochos Rios, Jamaica)  Yesterday I watched another major season come to an end and Tiger was still stuck on 14, 4 behind the gold standard set by Jack Nicklaus. Tiger finished the 2016 season with zero starts, ranked 321 in the world, and 8 years removed from that magical US Open victory at Torrey Pines in 2008. 8 years removed! Now call me delusional but I was surely sucked into thinking Tiger still had a shot post-marriage and post-2012/13 seasons when he combined for 8 tour victories. I realize both of those seasons were “major-less” but 8 tour victories is nothing to sneeze at. Then the horrific injury-plagued 2014 and 2015 seasons where we probably witnessed Tiger at his golfing low point. Chunking chips, dropping clubs after mishits, wearing that once feared Sunday red Nike shirt when he had no shot at all. Still, I was not ready to call it the end of his pursuit of Jack Nicklaus. I was delusional. Tiger had influenced a new generation of golfers that hit the ball farther, with more accuracy, and mixed-in lethal short games not to mention they looked like ballers. Sleek, muscular, calculating, fearless. When did Rory become Tiger-like from a physique perspective? Phil even had his day of weight loss and toning. What about DJ, Spieth, and Day? Each one of them also demonstrating the drive and focus to dominate for brief periods (hence, no new Tigers, the playing field has leveled). Tiger is now 40 years old and definitely beyond his physical and mental primes. What this blog should really should be about is not about Tiger’s diminishing (diminished) skill-set but why it has taken me so long to accept it. And, I think I finally have. Somewhere on the soaked fairways of Batusrol it hit me. 8 years have passed. The game has moved on quite well. The big 1 has been replaced by the big 4 with cohorts right behind them that can win on any given weekend. I just miss those magical days of fist-pumps, red Sunday shirts, 3-wood stingers, laser-like long irons, soft hands around the green, and those 20, 30, 40, 50, 60-foot bombs he dropped on competitors as they watched helplessly green side. Does anyone remember that putt he made on Saturday at Torrey on the 13th green from above the hole with an approximate 10-foot right to left break. Cold-hearted daggers. I miss it so much and I feel cheated. He could have won 25 majors but he didn’t and the game has passed him by and no matter how much I pull for that once-in-an-era player it is finished. Adios Tiger.

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